I am trying to access my inner bravery. So far, all that I have discovered is a miserable quivering mass of anxious terror. I am told that fear is an emotion common to the human condition. So how do some people find it so easy to fling aside the icy tentacles that wrap themselves so tenaciously around the heart, gut, liver, and lungs? Why can some sprout wings and fly, while others (myself included) would rather curl up in a ball and disappear? I stand accused of cowardice. I accuse myself. I have always feared being a disappointment, and now the thing that I greatly feared has come upon me. And I want nothing more than to pack up, flee the continent, reinvent myself, and start again. The old patterns of groveling, appeasement, and succumbing to the strong disapproval of others overwhelm me. I am laid low with self-loathing. And with a heart bruised and hemorrhaging, I am trying to find one shred of hope within. So far, all is darkness. All is unknown. The future is one huge question mark. But courage is not the denial of fear- rather the moving through it. And perhaps in the crucible of this trial, courage will be forged. There is no certainty. There is no final page that I can look to- no ending that may make the passage of the intervening pages any easier. When all is said and done, how I feel and what this does to me personally is irrelevant. Only the truth matters.