The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Heroics is important and we certainly need heroes, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage. Heroics is often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.

“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown

In the recent past, I really started to question my intuition because I would intuit things about people that they would tell me I was completely wrong about. However, more recently, I’ve found out that in some of those cases, those people weren’t being entirely honest. I’ve also had a bunch of people comment on my intuition seeming to likely be correct.

I was able to guess before why people probably told me that I was wrong, even though they later corrected me.

Emotions are complicated.

Today I got a first hand experience myself of something similar going on.

When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they agree, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice. For our own sake, we need to understand that it’s dangerous to our relationships and our well-being to get mired in shame and blame, or to be full of self-righteous anger. It’s also impossible to practice compassion from a place of resentment. If we’re going to practice acceptance and compassion, we need boundaries and accountability.

“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown

We had an incident at work this morning. In trying to fix the problem, I went heads down into investigating and producing a solution. While I was heads down, someone else working on a parallel solution came over and started bouncing ideas about their solution off me.

I didn’t say anything about it, but if I did, I’m the moment, I would have just said that I was annoyed. I was focused on what I was working on, and I was annoyed that I was being interrupted. I was especially annoyed because we’ve previously had conversations where I’ve stated that I don’t like in person interruptions.

But later when I was reflecting more on the incident, I realized that wasn’t the full story of what was going on.

There was a lot going on in the incident and I felt overwhelmed, so I defaulted to focusing on problem solving in my bubble because that’s where I feel the safest and less stimulated by the chaos. When that person came over, I felt threatened that they were bringing the chaos that I was trying to escape back to me. I felt annoyed that I was trying to focus on something and they were preventing me from doing that (especially since we’d talked about it before). I felt scared that they would come to me with something I couldn’t answer because there was too much going on already in my mind and because I might not have the skills or knowledge to address it.

But I didn’t realize any of this until after time had passed and I had a chance to reflect.

Interesting how my truth in the moment may not have been my truth at all.

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