The tagline on my website now reads, “Self-Mastery for the Strong of Heart.” As my own work continues to evolve, so does my understanding of what I do and who I am here to serve. Or rather, how I am called to support others by sharing the tools that came through me in support of my own journey of “self-mastery.” (Trust me, I’m not there yet! I’m not sure anyone is truly a “master” and if they have to say they are, it most certainly means they are not!)
Back to the matter at hand……What does strong of heart mean? I really grappled with this one because why use so many words when we have words like courageous and brave? The answer to this is simple. Both courageous and brave have been used in our culture to our detriment. When we speak of one who is courageous or brave, the implication is that they are free from fear. This is not courage or bravery, it is stupidity, foolishness, or psychosis. In the face of danger or the unknown, one should be afraid. Additionally, when one is acknowledged as courageous or brave, rarely is their fear or vulnerability recognized. Instead, all we hear about are their daring acts of bravery and their victory in the face of certain defeat.
It saddens me that our societal conditioning has done such a disservice to these words, most especially courageous, which from its Latin roots could be more accurately understood as “full of heart.” Brene Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame) says it well:
“In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
But unlike Brene, I could not bring myself to use the word courage to describe those who are willing and able to do the tough work required in the journey of self-mastery. While still imperfect, strong of heart more fully grasps the inner resources needed in the journey toward self-mastery…
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