Courage

[summer sky © pam lazos]

 

If you read my original post about The Twelve Virtues of the Merchant Priests, as suggested in the book, Sacred Commerce, my goal was to reflect upon and write about the 12 virtues discussed in the book — honor, loyalty, nobility, virtue, grace, trust, courage, courtesy, gallantry, authority, service, and humility — once a month for an entire year.  The 12 virtues of the merchant priest “automatically lift us to a higher octave of being,” something today’s world is in dire need of, I believe. While I may have missed the once-a-month boat, I’m determined to finish the list even if it takes a couple years. 

Next up:  Courage.

 

COURAGE

What do you do when everyone you depended on for guidance is gone?

So I am a little kid again, lying in my childhood bed, long awake, with my fears about Infinity intact.  

I can’t sleep because the world is a much bigger thing than even my rambling and wide imagination can wrap its little hands around, and time, because of this Infinity thing, is just downright scary. 

Dad comes in, asks why I’m still awake.  I confess my fears about the world in general, math in specific, because without math, it seems, we wouldn’t have this issue of Infinity.  

I’ve been thinking about Infinity and Heaven together and wonder if I died tomorrow, assuming I even go to Heaven, would I be 10 forever?  And would my baby brother be there, still an infant, or has he grown up a bit?  I want to ask him, but I don’t know where to start.  It’s late and I’m already worried about too much to add his answer to that mix.  Instead, I reach for my dad’s hand, a comforting thing in the dark.  A few tentative words bubble up, gain some confidence, ask their friends to join in creating a sentence.

“Do you think our souls really live forever?”

Yes, I do,” dad says.  “What that looks like though, I have no idea.  Sometimes you just have to have a little faith that it will all work out.”  He squeezes my hand.  “That probably doesn’t make you feel much better right now.”

I don’t know why the answer satisfies me because it’s nothing different than what I’ve already been told, but it’s honest, and he’s my dad; he always makes things better, and even when he can’t, sometimes just holding someone’s hand in the darkness of unknowing is enough to keep the terror on the other side of the door.

Since he’s here, I tell him about a lump on the back of my head where my head and neck meet, but just on the right side.  It wasn’t there yesterday, and I only just noticed it in my insomniac state.  It hurts when I touch it.  I worry that it means I’m going to die, but I don’t want to hear the answer to that question either so I say nothing more.  Dad rubs it for me.  

“So you think you might have a brain tumor and are going to die?”  

I nod.  The man is downright prescient.  He chuckles, rubs the lump again.  The pain disperses, not entirely, but enough.

“You’re fine.  It’ll be gone tomorrow.”  He leans over, kisses my forehead.  “But you need to stop worrying and go to sleep.”

The next day the lump is gone.  

Was it the power of positive thinking?  The law of attraction?  A lymph node that drained during the night — one where I slept soundly because my dad told me Infinity would work itself out without my help? My complete and utter belief in anything my dad says?

It doesn’t matter because it’s a new day, the sun is shining, and I’m only 10.

Fast forward decades.  I’m a mom, among other things, answering the same kind of obscure questions from my kids, but I am unable to answer the biggest one: 

What do you do when everyone you depended on for guidance is gone?  

I say this:  

There exists in nature a remedy for every malady.  

The answers have always been inside you.

Have the courage to become that which you seek.  

And if that doesn’t work, you can always dial me up on the other side. 

pam lazos 7.14.19

About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
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28 Responses to Courage

  1. So lovely, my friend!

    Oh, I miss my own dad. Bash has these moments with me, asking questions about his fears of monsters, fires, thunderstorms, car accidents. And I hug him, sometimes sharing a joke, but mostly responding with love and hope and prayer together. That’s what we’ve got. xxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What puts the ape in apricot? Great post, Pam. Heady thoughts for a 10 year old. I especially enjoyed the Wizard of Oz video clip and the thoughts about your Dad. Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was so cool Pam and it lifted my day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life shrinks or expands in it’s pawportion to one’s courage 🐾💜🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  5. picopico88 says:

    It is very hard to find the courage, but if I can I will definitely dial you up. Thank you for sharing these lovely memories. I will also dial up your Dad if that is okay.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. cath says:

    What a lovely memory, and a wonderful dad. You’ve reminded me of all the ways I used to question the world. I like your final solutions, too – wisdom passed down, and now across. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Pam Lazos says:

      Down and across. 🥰🙏❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan Scott says:

        Hi Pam and thanks for sharing this. Courage comes from Latin or French and is to do with the heart, the seat of emotions from which courage comes, if my memory serves me right. I guess it is a ‘testing’ of our responses in difficult situations where and when it would be easier to avoid, or walk away; yet we rather confront it and act on it.

        Your guidance to you children is perfect – your belief in your father’s words passed on 🙂 Nature does have a way of working things out. “have the courage to be that which you seek” … beautiful words.

        I think my comment should’t be a ‘reply’ but …

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos says:

        A beautiful sentiment. Thank you, Susan. 🥰

        Like

  7. It ain’t easy being a human, no matter what our age. But we try.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I recognised the laying in bed at night and worrying about those existential questions – I had noone to soothe my fears, but you had your father who knew exactly what to say to you – what a wonderful person he was! You were blessed. My eldest daughter had many questions that swam through her mind in the night. From the age of four she would often cry out “Mummy, am I dead? I can’t hear my heart beat….” My sister had died a couple of weeks before she was born and I remain convinced they passed each other, one going out, the other coming in. I would cuddle her and reassure her that, if she was speaking to me and I was there speaking to her then we were surely both alive and well and all was well in our world. At these times the ground was laid for so many important conversations that were built on over the years. And having been a child, with implicit trust in a loving parent, is an immense benefit to the adult.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Pam Lazos says:

      I love that visual of your daughter and sister passing each other as they entered and exited. How sad to lose your sister when you were just having your first child, esp. if there were no adults around to help you, Pauline. And how wonderful that you were to your daughter exactly what she needed to ease her fears. At some point, we all lose our parents and I do believe it’s our responsibility to learn to parent ourselves. That you had to start at a much earlier age means you are probably AMAZING at it! I’m sure your children are forever grateful for how you were able to keep their own night terrors at bay. Sometimes even a half-baked argument and a semblance of control is enough to make it all better. xox

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Catwoods says:

    A meaningful discussion of deep questions, Pam.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pam what an amazing post. So uplifting. And your dad is right there with you in this post. xxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Good post. I guess now you have the answer to whether you’ll be ten forever in whatever comes after death. It’s comforting, know the temporal probably doesn’t exist where our essence goes.
    Courage–I’m not a brave person but have found myself forced to rise to the challenge more often than I care to admit. And I do. I guess that’s a sort of courage.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Pam Lazos says:

      Yes, most definitely. Just facing a situation where plenty of people would check out and let someone else handle it is courageous. Sometimes getting up and out of bed to face the day can be an act of courage. And you with kids in active military must feel that more than most some days, Jacqui. 🙏🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  12. lampmagician says:

    Excellent 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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