The Courage to Live


By Eileen Patra

Many things in life require the demonstration of the innate human quality of courage. It takes courage, for instance, to stand in one’s truth. It takes courage to face a threatening person or situation. It takes courage to maintain faith in the appearance of disease or lack. It takes courage to heal, courage to fight, courage to acquiesce. It takes courage to take the next breath in a world of unknowns and ever-mounting turmoil. Courage is required of us at every crossroad and nearly every event in our lives. And so, it seems, it takes courage to LIVE.

The heroes of film, literature, and scripture are wrought with characters displaying great courage in the face of some threating person or situation; heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Luke Skywalker. There are literary heroes like Katniss Everdeen and Atticus Finch. And, real-life heroes like Captain Chesley Sully and the everyday members of our military. From scripture, there is the well-known character David, who takes down the giant, Goliath, with just five smooth stones flung from his slingshot. But David is much more than a character willing to face an overwhelming opponent. Metaphysically he represents the power of Divine Love. And Goliath? He is a Philistine, metaphysically symbolizing error thoughts.

Error thoughts, such as judgment, anger, and fear, prevent us from living fully in alignment with our true selves and inner purpose. As villains, they may not threaten our physical life (though they often manifest that way), but they most assuredly threaten our spiritual and emotional well-being. More, they keep us blocked from the energy of the heart – the seat of Divine Love and the source of courage.

The word courage comes from the Latin word, cor, meaning, heart. Courage, or heart-age, is the ability to be fully engaged with the flow of Divine Love in the midst of that which threatens our physical, emotional or spiritual well-being. The heart is the center of Divine Love, the place where human expressions of love are experienced as well as the spiritual center through which Divine Love is expressed. Love, according to Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, “… is the great harmonizing power of the universe.” It is the essence of creative energy, blending male and female, yin and yang, positive and negative into one note of wholeness and Light.

Facing inner foes requires an even greater demonstration of courage, or heart-age, than outer, worldly opponents because the inner Goliaths of life call us to live more fully in our spiritual truth despite the appearances of the external world. In fact, harmonizing and transforming the invisible, inner foes is the only activity that can manifest as physical, outer harmony. This is why Jesus taught us to LOVE our enemies – because there is nothing more potent than the harmonizing energy of Divine Love. To tap into this Divine Love in spite of differences, fears, anger, and resistance to an ever-changing, ever-evolving world, is the only answer to what seems to be an undefeatable foe.

As long as there is a belief in two-ness or polarity, there can be no real experience of wholeness. To eliminate what seems an opposite pole, there must be some harmonizing of the yin and yang. Simply put, instead of fighting something off, you must be open and receptive in the face of what appears negative, wrong, or threatening. You must enter the heart and focus on what is whole.

It is only in releasing the victor/victim energy which polarizes you and your personal Goliaths that you can fully engage the heart. You must let go of fear to allow the flow of Divine Love to fully move through you. As long as you hold on to fear, anger, resistance, judgment, or non-forgiveness, you will continue to reinforce a barrier between yourself and your heart. When there is a barrier between you and the heart, both the energy center and its physical expression are hindered in circulating their life-giving energies. In other words, you are not fully living.

How do you demonstrate courage in the face of some insurmountable inner foe? The answer is simple. To develop heart-age, one must go to, you guessed it, the heart. Breathing into the rhythm of the heart, the pure, unadulterated flow of Divine Love begins to circulate. While you close your eyes to outer distractions and inner foes to make this connection, do not attempt to bypass them. Instead, breathe Love into them. Face them with heart-age; focus on the Light you know to be true in spite of appearances. In doing so, you access and demonstrate the courage to live fully aligned with the truth of your being. There can be no higher expression of Life, no greater expression of the courage to live.

Eileen Patra, an award-winning author, minister, and inspirational speaker has published dozens of spiritually-themed articles in local periodicals, online journals, and via her blog at She has recently published her first novel, “The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings”


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