Courage Is Not For Cowards

Wear Your Courage Medal Proudly

Once upon a time, there was a cowardly lion. The lion refused to believe that he had courage. He didn't feel courageous. He was scared of his own shadow. It wasn't until he was confronted by a scary situation, that he realized, he had more courage than he ever imagined.

At that time, he was awarded a medal from The Wizard of Oz, to show every one that he was courageous. The cowardly lion was no longer a coward. He wore his medal proudly. As should you.

During our lifetime we are all faced with moments that could make us want to cower in a corner. This is our choice. We could either flee or face the fear. You might not have the energy or drive to face the situation. You might think you aren't brave enough. You might think it's easier to flee. You might think that this will just go away, if you ignore it.

No matter which way you think, chances are once you are faced with a dilemma...you have the capability to face the fear. You have more courage than you think. You are not a coward, whether or whether not you chose to confront the situation.

Stepping out of our comfort zones is a challenge. Your courage will lead you to the left, right or marching down the center, either way...you are learning important lessons which will allow you to grow. Believe it or not, you could make this happen. Allow your pride to shine and your courage to roar.

Source

Cancer Gives You Courage

I wish I had an explanation of courage. The true meaning of what it is like to be courageous. Yet, I don't. All I know about courage is that you feel it. You either feel the bravery or you don't. There is no such thing as kinda courageous. You are or you aren't. There is no in between. You will proudly display your medal or it will continue to collect dust on a mantle.

Friends and family often ask me, how did you become so courageous? I do not have an answer. It is something that just happened. There are times when I stop and allow myself to think...where did that courage come from? How was I just able to handle that situation?

I was a very shy child. I know this might be difficult to believe, but it is true. I would literally cling to my mother's skirt and hide when people spoke to me. Tall people frightened me. Actually most people are tall compared to my 5'1 stature. But they don't frighten me anymore.

The cancer journey I've been on with my husband since 2008 has endorsed my courage. I proudly wear the medal, but this did not happen overnight or suddenly. I was placed in a position to fight or flee. I chose to fight. As did my husband. His courage has helped show me that being courageous is simple, when you set your mind to it. Or, you have no other choice.

My mother's cancer battle also helped show me courage. She was a brave woman. Never backed down. When you learn from the best, it's hard to follow the rest. Just like courage is not for cowards, neither is cancer.

A Courageous Smile

I've encountered so many brave souls along our journey. I truly thought I didn't have the courage to fight alongside my husband, since I witnessed my mother's battle. I convinced myself that mentally I could not handle another cancer journey. Those thoughts lasted a whole 15 minutes, I then put my boxing gloves on, once again. You seriously didn't think that Sunshine would back down, did you?

I dreaded chemo. As did Dave. We did so many treatments and luckily avoided chemo. We had heard and witnessed so many horrible side effects caused by chemo. Dave watched his father succumb to the cancer treatments and I witnessed my mother's suffering. We knew we did not want chemo. Until the day our oncologist said, it's time to begin chemo. We sighed. We were scared. Dave accepted the next chapter. Me, not so much. I still had awful images in my head. I wasn't ready.

That same day our oncologist asked us to wait in a hall near his office for him. Dave and I were leaning against a nearby wall. I sighed. Dave read the sports section. He's flexible like that. Not much stresses him out.

In the corner of my eye I noticed a little old man reclined in a chemo chair. His expression was lost and confused. My heart felt so sorry for him. He was so fragile looking and all alone. Just not fair that he could live to past retirement age and instead of enjoying his life, he was fighting for it. He had a hospital blanket partially covering him, but he looked cold. It was at this time that he noticed I was looking at him. We made eye contact. I smiled at him. He gave me the biggest darn grin and his eyes came to life. He then slowly pulled his blanket up to his chin and turned his head to the side. He then closed his eyes and went to sleep with a courageous smile on his face.

I will never forget that image. In just a moment that brave man had reminded me, how courageous I was. Any time I think I can't go on, his serene smile gives me the gentle push to move forward.

Source

Courage is a gift that we all possess

Courage comes when you least expect it. We just have to open our minds to welcoming the courageousness into our world.

Courage to me, is being brave enough to face your fears. Standing tall with your chin held high, when faced with a frightening situation. Courage is, not backing down when placed in a corner. Courage is, the cancer fighters who fight for their lives. They sit in their chairs, for hours at a time, while chemo is being slowly dripped into their bodies. They will go to any means to win the battle. Courage is, the victims who no longer want to fight. They have accepted their fate and decide to stop treatments. Their bravery is to be admired. Courage is, the caregivers who sit by their loved ones and tend to their needs.

Having courage is a gift. You have courage, you might not realize it yet, but it's there. If you aren't wearing your medal proudly yet, because you think you haven't earned it...I suggest you think again, because chances are you are not a coward. Just like the cowardly lion, who thought he didn't have courage, but once faced with a challenge, he proved that he was the bravest of the brave. He roared with delight when he received his medal. Go on now, let's hear you roar.

Katy Perry - Roar

Courage: To be or not to be

Do you have courage?

  • Yes! I wear my medal proudly.
  • No. I'm too timid and do not like to roar.
  • I'm still debating...I'll get back to you.
See results without voting
Source

© 2014 Linda Bilyeu

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Comments 69 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

A very important message my friend. Forcefully presented, no holds barred, right between the eyes. Nicely done.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

" You seriously didn't think that Sunshine would back down, did you?"

Oh darlin... not for a NY second!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this reflection on COURAGE. You nailed it!

The Superman video had me in tears...what a perfect selection.

Oh, and Katy makes me ROAR with delight when I hear that song...another perfect choice!

And how I love the Cowardly Lion (oh my...!)

I have to say...I did it again!! I selected the perfect person to pass the baton of COURAGE to... beautiful job!

Voted UP & UABI & sharing. Love you and hugs, MM


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Bill, Any other way of telling it like it is, would be a waste of time! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi MM, Thank you so much for the challenge and the passing of the baton. You know me more than I know myself some times! Sharing my thoughts on courage wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. Looking forward to my next challenge ;) Love and hugs!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Beautifully written and a rallying call to stand and fight our inner battles. An essential and very noble message. God bless you and yours Sunshine625. Peace.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I am a courageous person since my move to Croatia I see many perspectives of my life in a different way. I have been brave all the way, A very interesting hub on this topic.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

This is stupendous! Love your line, 'When you learn from the best, it's hard to follow the rest.'

I already liked Katy Perry's 'Roar' and the video is so good - a perfect choice to match your words.

I'm lucky enough not to have had much adversity but I know I'd fight like a tiger if my babies were in danger.

Your certainly are a plucky lady and you've done a great job with this hub. Your courage and your sun shines through!

Ann


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 2 years ago

I have looked into the eyes of a similar face in a chair and drew great strength along a similar journey. So much beauty in a smile of grace. A smile such as this lifts your soul no matter how hard the timing. Tenacity is a beautiful thing and it's shared by samples of strength in adversity. A union of hearts forms immediately in a battle. We all battle in this life, and we're all comforted by a sweet light shining from our hearts of commonality, this is grace supplied and so sufficient. Beautiful hub and honestly written. Many blessing to you


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Linda, I love your approach to courage. I especially like the fact that it can't be defined - but felt. We all have courage, even if we don't think so. Anytime we step out of our comfort zones and learn something new - that's courage at work. So many times people equate courage with overcoming negative or scary situations and for the most part it's true. But if you think about it, everything we've picked up in our life journey was at one time new and scary. It takes courage to forge ahead and absorb everything that makes us who we are. We should all recognize that fact with a smile, just like the man whose smile you'll never forget.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Linda Sue.....OMG, my precious friend.....the tears are streaming down my face. You have given the most realistic and inspirational description of true courage, I am moved to applaud you loudly through my tears...

I am not ever surprised by your signature virtues and strength.....but I am always overwhelmed by the power of your positivity and generous heart.

This hub is a work of art....a gift from you to all readers. A gift we treasure and will hold forever....as we go through life with "courage."

Up..A & B......shared-pinned-googled-tweeted.......We LOVE you!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

A great hub about courage. Having courage is definitely a gift and we may not realize that we have it within us. A positive and inspiring hub, voted way up.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you, manatita44


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

DDE, Your bravery is to be admired.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

annart, I could hear you roar! Yes, I firmly believe in learning from the best and hopefully the rest will follow the lead.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

The Stages of ME, Your comment is perfect for this article...others will learn from your courage. Thank you for sharing.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Sha, Thank you for adding your thoughts on having courage. A fine addition to the hub! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Effer, All I have to say is .... Awwww! You are too kind my friend. Your article on Inner Strength inspired me to join in on MM's challenge. The three of us make quite a trio! xoxo


Ginny Buccheri profile image

Ginny Buccheri 2 years ago from Cowpens, South Carolina

Thank you Linda for sharing this. It was greatly needed and a reminder never hurts!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Ginny, You are very courageous...always remember that. Follow the best :)


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

Hi Linda My Friend,

I voted up++++

This really touched my heart and especially reading between the lines of all the different paths you and your sweet husband have traveled to get to where you are today.

I know your feelings even with courage had to be a roller-coaster ride from day to day.

My mother was only 5 feet tall and like you courage comes in small packages. She had the strength of Sampson and never gave up on any issue she faced.

You remind me of her. I send hugs and best wishes your way ever time I think of you and your husband.

You wear your courage well and faith will light your way.

Hug,

Bobbi Purvis


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Wow, Linda!!!

This article shows how special Dave and you are.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

You nailed this topic, Sunshine. Your heartfelt sharing of your personal story of strength supporting your Mom's battle with cancer and of your husband's struggle to face this demon are inspirational. That smile you gave to the stranger undergoing chemo was his strength as well.

My sister is a 15 year survivor of this battle and thankfully, she faced the unknown with an abundance of courage and fortitude and won.

Your message was Beautiful and Awesome.


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

Your words of wisdom left me a crying, blubbering mess. Most all of us have loss loved ones to that hideous disease. I walked through my own cancer battle only 7 years ago. While two surgeries brought me through my battle, my sister-in-law was facing chemo at the exact same time. She lost her battle, but she was an exemplary soul who showed more courage than anyone I have known.

Sha made a good point. Every new experience can be thought of as a challenge. And, every challenge we get through can be thought of as

a lesson in courage.

You have given a beautiful example of grace under fire. Thank you for sharing much of your journey with us. And, thank you for sharing your badge of courage.

Blessings to you,

DJ.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

D.J......It's so nice to have someone to blubber with........:) Linda got me with the story about the smiling old man sitting in his chemo chair......and her intuitive compassion toward him in the midst of her own stress....

Some get it.....some don't. I like the some who DO!


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

Like much of life's lessons, it is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is the only way we learn. Those of us who have walked that long, dark road can

relate to stories of courage. We understand a little more deeply. But, we still know how to smile through our cry.

DJ.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

DJ...You always know precisely how to say things! You silver-tongued babe, you.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Suffering gives us the courage to make it through many situations and to support others in their journey. You have a beautiful, strong spirit, Linda.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you, Bobbi. I hope you are doing well. Dave and I hope to meet up with you again one day soon! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thanks for stopping by Daisy.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Great hub with a inspirational message. Passing this on.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Peg, I'm wishing your sister continued success with her health!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi DJ, I apologize for making you a blubbering mess. Consider it a gift of stress relief. I appreciate your comments. And Paula's too...You are both always welcome to chit-chat on this courageous hub! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you, Flourish and Gypsy.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Very nicely done hub, inspirational and with a great message!

Courage is a God's gift, which becomes more pronounced when we are facing tough times.

Thank you!


Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

Beautiful article. I find that courage is adaptable, and sometimes the people you think are the strongest, are the opposite while the ones that look weak are actually the strongest. There are many types of courage. Bravo to heroes in all guises. :)


Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Too many people confuse fear and cowardice in themselves. If you aren't afraid, you can't be courageous; that would be more like being clueless. I think very few people know what they'd do when they suddenly find themselves in the breach and fighting. I've found most people rise to the occasion most of the time.

Being called courageous makes me feel icky. It's not like any of my other options had any attraction to them. A lot of the time it looks like heroism or courage to people when we're just reacting to circumstances as best we can.

I think the key to feeling confident in your ability to continue on through fear is to realize that in the end, no matter what, you are going to die; you're going to cease to exist. You have zero choice in the matter. But what that means to me is that, while you have little to no control over dying or suffering, you have some degree of control over what you do when you're alive.

I think people are deathly afraid of being afraid. They're much more confident in their ability to feel fear than in their ability to continue on through fear. They probably don't realize there's usually no choice.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I am scared of just about everything and am in awe of your courage! Great hub! I loved your story about the guy whose face lit up when you smiled at him. Awesome. :-)


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

I like your style. My mom was 5'1" tall and traveled the Pacific during WWII. She was my hero. I am like you, when you learn from the best you can't help being courageous.

Twenty years ago when I had my first chemo, I met a women who was having her second round of chemo in 5 years. I knew I would die if I ever had to go through chemo again. Well, here I am starting the fourth time through chemo ( second clinical trial) and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I have learned so much through all of this. -Watching my loved one go this road would be harder. To Life!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on courage.


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

None of us are aware of our inner courage until we reach deep down and find it. I have had times in my life when I felt like just giving up, but I had the courage to go on and overcome whatever it was.

You are a great inspiration to me in many ways, my friend. Voted UP, etc and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Like Effer, I found your experience with the man in the chair brought tears. Cap and his team ooze courage and this writing is further proof. We never know we have courage until we have to use it, I've surprised myself on more than one occasion.. The Cowardly Lion lives in all of us but thankfully we have his medal.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


lovedoctor926 2 years ago

A touching and heartfelt post. Sunshine, you are a very courageous woman. Thanks for your inspiring words. Voted up beautiful!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

This is wonderful Linda--lest we forget that real courage is not an easy road--but one that we can all learn from--hugs to you


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Way to go, Mary! I can hear you roar! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Hi Tills, I know you wear your medal proudly. Keep on shining :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you LoveDoc and Audrey for your kind words. You are both brave woman who are appreciated.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica

Thanks for the reminder. I am going for my purple heart.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

I have no doubt, Rasta, that you will succeed.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I am applauding your story, Linda! Wonderful! This is such a great message for all to read and so encouraging for those who face cancer. God bless you, sweet lady.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you, Dianna.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, my goodness, dear Linda (Sunshine), where have I been that I missed this superb hub here on courage? I am so glad I am here now to read your amazing testimony as to courage. Yes, cancer does give one courage, as I sure did find that out too. Courage is indeed a gift.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful insight here, which will bless all who read.

Voted up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Hugs


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

What a great story - especially the part where the man smiled back at you - so with that in mind - I am going to send a smile to you tonight when I pull my blanket up over my shoulders and say thank you for sharing your story.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you Faith Reaper and Sallybea for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! We have as much courage as we believe! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I guess we never know how we will act until confronted by challenges of life. I really like how you wrote this regarding courage and the way you and your husband are tackling it head on. This is a beautiful and inspiring hub. Up votes and sharing.


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

You have great courage a lesson in life that each of us feel. I wish you and your husband good. Great Hub. Stella


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 2 years ago from malang-indonesia

Beautiful hub and very well written. I also enjoy the picture and the video as well. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up and have a nice weekend!

Prasetio


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 2 years ago from Maine

I love this hub so much. It is very encouraging and uplifting. It's just what I needed to read. I'm facing a very trying situation and this hub is just what I needed to read to remind me of the courageous and fighting spirit I have inside.

Blessings to you!


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 22 months ago from Somewhere in the West

Very nice Linda our trials make us strong I am a good fighter myself , I have fought many battles and God knows I am a good soldier so he keeps sending them my way , because he knows I can handle them but only by His Grace.

I am happy to know you two were courageous in such a situation "cancer is a demon from hell" It eats away at you so rapidly.....

I love your quote : "When you learn from the best, it's hard to follow the rest"

Have a lovely day and keep on keeping on!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i agree that courage is something that you can achieve and overcome with success, courage is not use in coward acts such as cheating and suicide


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 22 months ago from USA

There are times that will test you and show you how much strength and courage that you actually have. Although most of us hate actually going through those times, at least they do show us how strong we really are. You and your husband are indeed courageous.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 22 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you, MT.


Laeeka profile image

Laeeka 21 months ago from Durban, South Africa

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Life presents us with many moments in which for us to be courageous. It is whether we rise to the occasion or not that gives us further insight into who we are. I think that love is a powerful driving and fueling force behind having courage as your journey with both your mother and husband display. Perhaps a bit different but nonetheless still emotionally invested, just yesterday I had to lay my pet cat of 13 years to rest after his own long struggle with cancer- a decision that I did not think I had the courage to go forward with. However it was for his best interests. Your hub really struck a chord with me and resonated with these life events of mine. Thank you.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 21 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

Thank you for sharing your story, Laeeka. I am sorry for your loss.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 21 months ago from london

Beautiful and inspiring article. Yes, we all have courage. We just need the right environment and situation; the ideal ideology or philosophy to support and Bingo! Great Hub.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 21 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

Excellent points manatita!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 17 months ago from sunny Florida

I absolutely can identify with this hub, Linda. As our journey began fifteen years ago, I think my rating on the courage meter was rather low. I was fearful and intimidated and so uncertain of what came next.

But together my grandson, Jay, and daughter, Stephanie, and I have climbed the mountains time and again and along the way our courage meter has climbed as we faced each hurdle.

One turning point for me personally was when my grandson was going for like his millionth visit to Shands (we spend many nights at Ronald McDonald House). I was in the waiting room with him and his Momma I looked around and saw many who had cancer as well as other catastrophic illnesses...and I said , 'thank you.' Why? Because it could have been so much worse. So a bit of my courage and strength began that day.

Thank you for sharing this, Linda. Right now my loved ones are engaged in new battles ...and so I am thankful for reminders to keep the Courage Candle burning.

Angels are headed to you this evening. Voted up++++


Jodah profile image

Jodah 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

Great hub Linda. i admire the courage medal you wear proudly. I have my moments where I doubt my own courage but when certain situations arise I usually surprise myself with the way i can deal with them calmly. This article certainly challenges us to look inside ourselves and to be trong come what may. Voted up. "Roar" by Katy Perry is the perfect song.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 13 months ago from sunny Florida

O Sunshine...tears are rolling down my cheeks as I read this. Yes, courageous you were then and are now...courageous enough to face the demons and courageous enough to share this with us.

I know and understand and feel what you endured...and the bottom line is we do it because we can. We ARE so much stronger than we ever believed we could be, after all.

It is just a matter of digging deep and believing and it happens

Each day is a gift....wasting one moment being fearful helps us gain nada. We must pick up one foot and put it squarely in front of the other, wearing our courage banner...

Shared!!!! Awesome awesome

Know my dear, that many Angels bringing you a multitude of blessings are on the way. ps


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 13 months ago from Orlando, FL Author

PS; Your words of wisdom and courage are always welcome by me as they not only inspire me, but they also inspire those who stop by to read my articles. We just never know when that one person who needs to read the words that we share might stop by and we make their day, week or even year! Thank you! :)

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