COURAGE DOESN’T ALWAYS ROAR
I confess to having endured a bad spell of discouragement. Thankfully, it was short. But for that bit of time I wanted to give up writing. In fact, I had decided I would. (The feeling lasted about 24 hours.) I guess I’m not alone in occassional bouts of discouragment. Dale Carnegie says, “Develop success from failures. Discouragment and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to sucess.” Thanks for the assurance but couldn’t there be another way?
I had lunch with a writing friend this week and she told me she had given up writing after a discouraging rejection. She’d packed up every bit of writing stuff–manuscript pages, how-to books, notes…everything. Put it all in boxes and hauled it down to the basement. In fact, she considered giving away her computer and turning her little office into something more practical. A spare bedroom or a nice private sitting area. It lasted two days and then she was downstairs digging through the boxes looking for notes on a story that she was pretty sure she could write. Funny, maybe? But only if you don’t go through those dark times.
Mary Anne Racmacher has writing a book, Courage Doesn’t Always Roar. In it she says, ‘Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.’ ‘Courage is the willingness to aspire, reach and again believe in the promises of tomorrow.’ And ‘It take courage to reinvent dreams.”
Someone has said success is picking yourself up one more time than you fall down. A long journey in the WRITE direction in my case.
‘Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.’ Dan Rather.
‘I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.’ Frank Lloyd Wright. (Interesting that his last name is Wright.)
‘Energy and persistence conquer all things.’ Benjamin Franklin. (How many times did he fail to create a light bulb before he succeeded? Some say he experimented with 3000 different theories.)
‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it, boldnes has genius, power and magic in it.’ Attributed to Goethe.
And so I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. Or as Vincent Van Gogh said, ‘In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.’ According to my research, Van Gogh produced more than 1000 drawings in addition to 870 paintings, 150 watercolors, and 133 letter sketches.
(information from this site.http://www.vggallery.com/drawings/main_az.htm) Mind you, if you study Van Gogh’s life you might not find it such an inspiration. He suffered ill-fated romances, cut off part of his ear in a fit of anger and finally shot himself ‘for the good of all.” Perhaps I’ll limit myself to finding encouragement in his work rather than his life.
On the other hand, I can find encouragement in something as simple as a dandelion. I once wrote a poem called Dandelion Love, and no I won’t subject you to it (even if I could find a copy). But the message was roses are too fragile, I want a love that is as stubborn, tenacious and unstoppable as a dandelion which pokes up through cracks in the pavement and waves its cheery head from ever corner and crevise.
I also find encouragement in the scriptures. Is. 40:31 ‘… but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.’
So what do you do when discouragement hits? What things encourage you and get you over the dark period? I’d love to hear what works for you.
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