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How to Develop the Courage to Fully Be Alive

By By Jafree Ozwald

When I was 23 years old, my father made an enormous life choice and decided to commit suicide. In the one and only note which he left behind, he said that his financial situation, health, relationships, and career circumstances were all sinking in a perpetual downward spiral, and felt there was nothing he could do to change this. During the last few months of his life I remember him pushing himself harder and faster each day. Trying not to sink further down the financial and emotional drain he was in for years. As I listened to him speak super positive thoughts about his future, I could sense that deeper down he wasn't truly feeling relaxed about things or believing he had the power to manifest his dreams.

One of the reasons I'm sharing my personal story with you today is that it may create a deeper more vulnerable perspective on life. The Universe is designed to bring us into our fullest potentiality. It never gives us more or less than what we need to bring about our greatest enlightened state. It knows us intimately, and delivers the exact perfect portions of success and challenge, to force us beneath our head trip and discover the real gold inside our heart. It is from receiving both the pleasant and hard gifts that the Universe offers, that we become truly courageous beings who have the strength to manifest an abundant brilliant future that we desire, and discover our spiritual path along the way.

"I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God." ~ Helen Keller

The loss of my father taught me many amazing things. I've learned how deeply healing it is to be vulnerable, exposed, real and authentic about my truth and raw experience of life. I've discovered that in this life we don't get to choose who we love, why we love them, or how to avoid feeling pain when they have to leave us. I've found that only through opening up into my feelings can I experience truly being alive. I've realized that one negative feeling continuously repeated can dominate and destroy an entire life. I've understood the importance of having a childlike playfulness, not taking anything too seriously, and entertain the simple joy of being alive.

I know now how to welcome the feeling of pain, honor its teaching, and then understand what it takes to let it go. I've discovered that if we don't choose to be with and face our pain, we cannot honestly leap out of bed the next morning filled with real joy. It's been brought to my attention that this one life contains a huge bag of mixed experiences, which can sometimes feels like lying naked in a bed full of thorny beautiful roses. It can be emotionally painful, physically uncomfortable, and yet the closer we are to it, the more we can smell the sweet healing fragrance wafting through the air.

My advice to you is simple. Each day which you still have your family here, healthy and alive, is truly a precious time to be treasured. Learn how to love your friends and family, accepting them exactly as they are. Appreciate the unique bed of thorny roses you've been gifted, and know that if they are really annoying you don't have to continue laying on them. This life is a school of learning to respect and honor ourselves, enjoying each moment in the very precious and short time we have here. There is a very sacred and spiritual journey we are each on. The more often we can see this and appreciate our lessons, the easier and juicier life becomes.

"Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice. The one who has love, courage, and wisdom moves the world." ~ Ammon Hennacy

The courage to live life is not something we were born with. We enter this world with curiosity, innocence and openness, and we develop courage along the way. Courage is slowly grown within by overcoming each one of our anxieties, insecurities and fears. Courage is like a muscle that we must build, grow and mature as we experience life and age. If we don't permit courage to develop during our lifetime, we'll feel dominated and devoured by the world. There must be a willingness to be strong and vulnerable at the same time. It is in our flexibility and strength that we can hold our ground for the heart to fully open. It is only from an open heart that we reach the deepest fearless resource of our being, and can bask in the divine enlightening energy of our soul.

An interesting fact about the word "courage" is that it comes from the old French word "corage" which means heart, innermost feelings and inner strength. When we are in touch with our heart, we feel that we can undertake anything. Real courage is just like a beating heart, that is strong, consistent, resilient, and yet also soft and squishy. A healthy heart is not hard, guarded and tough as nails. A good heart loves life and recognizes that life is not a "have to" but a massive "get to". The heart is always giving us this opportunity to be alive, deeply alive right now so don't miss out on it! This life is an amazing experience that we all have been temporarily gifted to enjoy.

It takes real mastery over one's mind to live a truly empowered and awesome life. This level of mind mastery requires total transparency, which is the last place we would look to find courage. An open vulnerable approach has the willingness to allow every mirco-truth to shine through. This unveiled nakedness is the great secret to developing the courage and strength that we need to get through life's rough times when they arrive. When we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to lose. It doesn't matter so much what the outcome is, as much as the exploration of love along the way. If you live long enough it's guaranteed that one day you will need this transparent secret to find unstoppable courage, so you may as well start practicing now.

You might have noticed that not all human beings you meet are truly alive. It takes a very brave soul to be vulnerable enough to show up and live life fully. Many people pretend they are enjoying their time here, yet when you gaze into their eyes, they look like and act like they are dead, and sleepwalking through life. Thinking themselves to be safe, free from pain, danger or harms way, they whittle away their time feeling lazy and avoiding life's challenges. You can see each potential reverent moment of their life slips through their fingers like water, and it feels like they wouldn't notice it, or really care if everything suddenly was gone.

When we face our fears and sit with our pain, we harness the simple energy inside to be ruthless with our fear, vibrantly creative in our approach and enjoying the sweetness of being alive! We can then show up emotionally for others, be honest and open with our families, fully embrace the changes and challenges of our loved ones, and enjoy how easy everything flows and changes. With courageous eyes we can see how everyone and everything is our teacher. We harness the ability to be foolish and risky enough to really go for our dreams! We naturally start to invest our energy in visualizing an amazingly bright flawless future, and stop judging ourselves for whatever shortcomings we were told we had.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

I feel that one of the greatest accomplishments we can make in a lifetime is to never take anyone or anything for granted. Our lives are always balancing on the edge of a thin dime, and everything can be taken away in a flash. It's essential to consistently practice appreciation for what we have, and express this loving communication with everyone in our world. We must become appreciation experts, remaining positive and supportive with those we care deeply about and cherish. When times are cold and dark for friends or family, it is our job to give them the best love we can give. We may not realize it now, yet the love that we share ends up being the same love we will have to give back to ourselves when our life feels like it's coming to an end.

During this precious life we are guaranteed the most outrageous climax when it's all over. We can enjoy the journey much more if we learn one small skill. To stop holding onto our past pain. The negative voices, arguments, criticisms, and faultfinding must be released if we are going to find emotionally neutral terms within ourselves. To do this we must practice grabbing hold of the reigns of our mind, and train it to obey our every wish and desire. We must show the mind that we are the boss and main authority in charge to be respected. When the mind wanders down that deep dark and lonely alley towards fear, we simply give it a little 'kick' and turn up the love and inner light inside our heart. Our mind is the designer and creator of our entire life, and only when it's focused in a positive healthy direction are we then destined to manifest truly wonderful things.

What I've found really refreshing is that there is a natural healing mechanism installed in the software of our DNA, which pushes us in the direction of constant growth, healing and survival. Our physical bodies are designed to automatically heal any cuts or bruises that we have. Our minds over time tend to naturally forget and diminish mental and emotional wounds from our past. Unless we tend to keep reenacting and playing out those negative emotional states, they will naturally heal on their own accord.

When we are left alone out in nature in a safe quiet environment, without any media or social contact with society, taking in only healing positive information, eating only clean raw organic food, in a matter of 90 days or less, all of our mental emotional and even physical problems will all be gone. It is simply nature at work within our DNA, which knows how to naturally replenish, restore and return the body-mind mechanism back to its natural state. It's like the tiny mustard seed already knows how to establish roots, grow up against gravity, reach towards the sun, and one day bear fruit and seeds for future generations. Our DNA was designed with this effortless program to heal our entire mind-body organism.

Since many of us cannot afford to pack up and leave our lives for several months at a time, we must perpetually think positively about ourselves, our lives and future. You might hear this constant subtle war inside ourselves, in the form of an attempt to focus and refocus the mind in a positive creative direction. Past subconscious wounding keeps bubbling up until it is healed, and we are like sponges who are absorbing negative thinking patterns that we unknowingly don't see spewing from others around us. It is the law of the universe, garbage in and garbage out. We cannot afford to dwell in any negative thought patterns, as they all will manifest somewhere in our health, in our relationships, or our finances. By simply bringing awareness to only having sacred empowering positive healing thoughts perpetually flowing in, we must have sacred healing experiences coming out.

Whatever challenges that you are facing today will soon change. There will come a time when you'll discover the precious gem that was buried inside your struggle all along. Just scratch beneath the surface a bit longer, and peer inside yourself with more curiosity. You just might discover something amazing quite quickly. There is a goldmine of beauty inside you, just bursting at the seams to come out!

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