I used to think courage reveals itself in words and bold actions. That courage is speaking up in a crowded room, or jumping out of a plane with nothing but a parachute strapped to your back.
But now I know courage to be a quiet confidence, one that doesn’t boast loudly, but rather moves like ocean waves — frequently crashing into the shore and pulling back over and over again before it triumphantly knocks over castles on the warm, sandy beach.
I used to think love was only true if it was requited. I used to think of love as having a start and an ending, and that the more ‘perfect’ I was the longer it would stick around.
Now I know love to be a force that is internally powered. Now I know it’s ongoing and everlasting, and pulses with great vibrancy when we share our unique, perfect imperfections.
I used to think living with intensity meant living too loud. I thought being called ‘intense’ was the worst curse, that it meant I was too serious, too hyper, overbearing, too much.
Now I know that with great intensity comes great passion, rawness, focus, heart. That ‘intense’ people are not to be avoided, but to be admired for the deliberate way in which they approach life.
Courage is seeing all the ways you are distinctly you and still believing you have everything it takes to live the life you want.
Love is tender appreciation for oneself, yes, but also an aching at the absence of another.
Intensity is enthusiasm for life, now, in this moment. It’s a full-fledged love affair with life and all it encompasses.
With courage, love, and intensity,