courage is a heart word

If you’ve read The Gifts of Imperfection or I Thought It Was Just Me, you know that I love the history of the word courage. 

The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic.

We certainly need heroes, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage.

Heroics is often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.

In the September issue of Glamour Magazine, my good friend Jess Weiner is putting her vulnerability on the line in a big way. Her article on body acceptance, self-worth, and health is the best kind of truth-telling: It sparks critical thinking and passionate conversation.

It’s taken me a very long time (years + a breakdown spiritual awakening) to figure out my own values and beliefs around health, self-love, and my body. Everyone has a different story and a different journey. I believe the greatest danger we face comes from reducing this struggle to one story, one politic, or one way of being right, politically correct, or self-confident. 

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and read the article (here’s the link). I’d love to know what you think! Respectful debate, although rare these days, is also an act of courage.