July 3, 2024

What is courage? And especially, what is courage in the context of elderhood? 

We assign courage to the so-called adrenaline junkies.  On some level, I was part of that. I remember in the early 90s, 30 years ago, be being a participant in a workshop with Dan Millman. One day, we left early in the morning, did a bungee jump out of a hot air balloon. And after that, we skydived. The most vivid memory of that experience is my body screaming, do something, we are falling.

Then there is the courage of first responders and soldiers by being in dangerous situations to save people's lives.

But what does courage mean, as  I am looking at courage being the fifth of nine elements related to elderhood. Three of them related to spirit, three of them related to self, and three of them related to society. It is the midpoint, turning from the unseen related to spirit to the seen in society via the self.

For me, courage means trust; trust in the connection with spirit, trust in the vision and the awareness that I have, trust in myself, and that leads to having the courage to say or do what I am shown by the vision, by the awareness, by spirit, by my soul, And I am not doing it for myself, I am doing it for the people in general, it's a contribution.

 I have been exploring elderhood now for quite some time, in depth since the beginning of the year. For instance, when I was looking at, how can I structure a presentation, I saw a triangle with the words spirit, self, society and three words on each of the sides. Doing the podcast episodes, I have been gaining a deeper understanding of each one of them. Now being in the middle, I am beginning to see a bigger picture, how one leads to the next, and it is truly being willing to say and do what my soul is asking me to say or do. 30 years ago, I was willing to fight for something or against something. That is no longer the case, and it doesn't have anything to do with age per se, it has to do with understanding that if I fight for or against something. I'm creating the energy of fighting. I am emitting that energy of fighting into the collective field. And in all honesty, we have enough fighting energy present. I don't need to contribute to that. For me, it's becoming more important to maybe be quiet, to contribute an energy of compassion, an energy of gratitude, an energy of peace. 

For that, I'm using what I have learned through Heart Math, which is more valuable for me. In the end, it's not even about a specific subject area, it's about having the courage to be who I truly am, to be authentic. Do we have the courage to look within, to look at the wounds that we have, to look at the trauma we've experienced over our lifetime. And it can be pretty uncomfortable to look at that and to let go of that, to heal it. I realized healing it actually gave me more compassion for others. Interesting subject, I no longer blame. I have compassion.

50 or 60 years ago, who was talking about trauma. And like, if I look at my parents, they were teenagers during World War Two. I can only imagine today how that might have impacted them, what that may have cost them. The father of my father was a POW so my father didn't know if his father would come back. How did being a POW impact my grandfather and changes his way of parenting?

We can only imagine what is going on for another. And it does not mean allowing abuse due to trauma. Do we have the courage to stop hiding, to show ourselves, to be vulnerable, to show up as who we are, and allow others to see us.  I have been hiding so well for most of my life. It's only recently that I have started to show up to step out, to be willing to be seen. What helped me to do that, on some level, it is my deep connection to spirit, my commitment that I made one and a half two years ago, to rebuild a connection with my soul. And I got very clear that if I'm being told something and I'm not responding to it, I'm ignoring it, that voice eventually is going quiet again. I've had that throughout my life, and I was not going to go there again. 

So how much courage are we willing to have? Are we willing to share what we are envisioning, to share what awarenesses we have, to share what we see, what we think. Can we do that without fighting, without attacking. Can we say, this is what I see. and ask how do you see it? Giving the other an opportunity to say how they see it. 

I often ask people, why are you thinking that way? - Oh, I don't want to talk about it. - I answered, I'm just curious. I don't want to fight you on that or convince you of anything. How much can we use curiosity as an elder to connect with others, to keep learning, to appreciate different perspectives. And does that also give us the courage to voice our perspective? 

Is it even required to have courage to be willing to be curious? I'm curious about that. So whatever it is you think I would love for you to let me know.

About the author 

Corinna Stoeffl

Corinna Stoeffl is a dynamic workshop facilitator and speaker. With a world in transition, her focus is providing education and giving tools so people can have more ease. She feels that her life experiences have prepared her for this time so she can be in support.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Title Goes Here

Get this Free E-Book

Use this bottom section to nudge your visitors.