COMMITMENT+DOUBT+ACTION = COURAGE
So it is clear to me that Courage means taking some kind of risk however without the risk being taken I may have never met my father again. I am so glad I found the Courage! I would like to share a story with you about an experience I had recently where I learnt deep inside me the meaning of Courage....
It had been about 30 years since I had any contact with my father so after 30 years apart, I decided it was time for me to contact my father. I knew the city where he lived however I had no way of making contact with him directly. By making contact with my godfather (first time in 30 years also), he told me that he too had lost contact with him however he knew how to reach out to one of his best mates and could give me his contact details.
I rang the best mate and asked him for my father's details. He said he wasn't willing to give them to me however if I wrote a letter and sent it to him, he would pass it on. So I did.
After receiving the letter, the best mate told me that emotionally it was too much for my father and he would let me know if anything changed. A few months passed and I heard nothing.
As Christmas approached, I knew we were visiting the city where he lived so I thought I would make contact again with the best mate. I spoke with him and he said that whilst nothing has changed from my father's end, he would be happy to meet me for a beer. I agreed to the meeting.
I turned up to the hotel where he said we would meet. As I walked in, an elderly gentleman gestured towards me to come and sit with him. It wasn't until he introduced himself that I realised it wasn't the best mate, but actually my Dad. He invited me to sit with him and we began speaking. After 5 minutes of discussion, it occurred to me that he really didn't know he was talking to his son. As it happened, his best mate had told him to meet a young friend of his (using my name!!) at the hotel because he would be running late.
At the time, I felt the best way to continue approaching the conversation was by being honest with whatever we discussed however I really didn't know how I would broach the subject of me being in front of him for the first time in thirty years. Five minutes turned into ten, ten into twenty. Another friend of his arrived and joined the conversation. Little did I know, he also knew what was going on. Thirty-five minutes after meeting my father for the first time in thirty years, the best mate arrived. As my father left the table, I turned to the best mate and said, "He doesn't know it's me, so who is going to tell him?"
I went to get some drinks and when I returned it was evident the best mate had told my Dad who I really was. He erupted! He was very emotional, trembling as he tried to make sense of the situation. Needless to say, he was very unhappy with everyone at the table as he felt as though everyone else was involved.
After about ten minutes of him trying to make sense of it, he began calming down a little, that's when I felt it was best to begin speaking. What came out of my mouth was this, "Dad, I appreciate this is a very difficult situation for you however in one way it couldn't have been more perfect. You see, I am not here to drag up thirty years of history. I am here to meet with you, have a beer and find out whether we enjoyed each other's company and then go from there. For forty-five minutes I got to speak with you and your mates and see the real man you are without the emotion. I am now very clear that I want to see you again." I showed him a picture of my wife and kids, gave him my number and a hug and said, "Give me a call if you want to catch up" and I left.
Two hours later, I got a call. He asked me whether I wanted to meet the next day for a coffee. We did and now we are establishing a real connection after 30 years apart.
COMMITMENT + DOUBT + ACTION = COURAGE
"So it is clear to me that Courage means taking some kind of risk however without the risk being taken I may have never met my father again.
I now know what this feels like, how it works and appreciate that all three parts of the formula are to be experienced by those being courageous, no matter what it is you do.
.....I am so glad I found the COURAGE!