A favourite quote of mine states that, "Courage doesn't always roar; sometimes courage is the small voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'." (Mary Ann Radmacher).
This touches me deeply because it is so understated. Courage is often perceived as an active process, by which people act heroically in unimaginable circumstances, rushing through flames, or leaping from great heights without a second thought for personal safety.
My own personal variety of courage is always mingled with fear, and often with a sense that I would rather like to avoid any unpleasantness if at all possible.
Of course, living with the sort of illness that I have doesn't leave much room for the avoidance of pain or unpleasantness. Privacy, dignity and painlessness have all long been left by the wayside, along with vanity and the ability to plan for my future. I am learning, slowly and with the minimum of grace and courage, to breathe through the pain, to accept 'right' over 'pleasant' when necessary, and to appreciate the many, many things that make life wonderful despite the setbacks.
Courage stems from a belief that life is better than the alternative. Would I prefer not to spend time in hospital with the naked ladies who want to share my bed? Would I rather not have to be fed through a tube or have a large IV line in my neck for medications and fluids? Would I like to sleep through the times when my (many) medications are due, or rush out of the house for an adventure without packing any of the important medical kit?
Of course I'd like things to be easy, but focusing on the things I'd like to avoid means overlooking the many wonderful things that I still get to experience. The reason that I end each day quietly determined to try again tomorrow is because it's worth it.