Do You Have the Courage to Live?

On the Edge III


How to fly
when your wing
is broken?
How to rise
from a hidden wound


What if our existential fear is not that of dying, but that of really living?

It’s known in psychotherapy and psychology that we have an existential fear of dying that is the source of almost everything we do. There might be some truth to this, I don’t know, however throughout the years of coaching, creating, dreaming and wandering, I have encountered what seems as an even deeper and far more unconscious (and surprising too) fear in us; the fear of living. What happens inside you when a dream seems close to come true? Have you ever asked yourself the question with awe and a bit of fear-trembling excitement, when you are in front of something great: can life really be this good and easy? Have you ever caught yourself surprised by with what amazing speed you were capable of running away from something you have longed for, and in a way sensed was there as a possibility your whole life?

I don’t claim to know anything, but I dare have a perspective on it. When we are born into this world we know no separation. But as we grow up, we all have to deal with the fact of what appears to us as being separate and something starts growing inside us; a deep inner longing to belong, a longing to return to being no-one, to be what we were born as. In another perspective, we were never born, separation never happened, there is no “you”, and how can you return to something you never left and always have been, it just appears as if. Who knows? But that’s another story…

In this story though, our stories of love and loss, gain and pain, joy and sadness they are all stories we know well, they are part of the life we live, for some they are the life, they are our identity and they keep us safe. Letting go of the stories (and beliefs) can be a key to set us free, but this freedom can be a scary bitch, not only because without stories to define ourselves, who are we then? But by letting go of our stories, or a better way to put it, letting go of the hold the stories have on us, we all of a sudden have entered unknown land where there are no one to blame and nothing to hold on to. Living in the unknown and looking back along the road we appeared to have walked, we might even realize we have always been in unknown land…

If there is some truth to such thing as a deep existential fear of living, then to have the courage to live is to leave survival mode and step into the eye of the storm of life (I’m here talking about an inner way of being or approach to life, not outside circumstances) To live is pure raw aliveness, no filter, the high and the low notes of life felt full on. The scale of the fear of living is wide and long and for some, it doesn’t appear to ever have existed, but for those of you who recognize a resonance in this, know this; courage can only exist in the presence of fear. If you experience yourself shrinking, running away or shine less than your true flame, it is understandable. It does take immense quiet courage to really live. Courage is not measured in what you do, but how deep your fear runs. Only you will ever know the depth of your own bravery.


Note: I am slowly moving content from my other blog ~ connecting the Dots…(and deleting some) so only contents of my ‘outer world’; my art-form of Coaching, upcoming events and creative projects I am involved in, one way or the other, will be posted there.
Some pieces of previous writing still resonates with me today, so I decided to keep it and re-post it here, knowing, it’s all just a perspective…

31 Replies to “Do You Have the Courage to Live?”

  1. H.R. Gordon says:

    Reblogged this on Sitting in Spilt Ink and commented:
    Beautiful thought.


  2. Uncle Tree says:

    Near-to-life experiences beyond our imaginations
    are the only direct calls that need no reply, for we are the answer.
    Standing your ground – after the fact – takes courage.

    Nice to meet you, Hanne! 🙂 Peace and luvz, Uncle Tree


    • Uncle Tree, thank you much for passing by and leave this thoughtful comment.
      I will agree. It appears to me, when in touch with ‘near-to-life experiences’ there isn’t even any questions and hence no answers, what is, is what is. Nothing. Everything. Paradoxes. Simplicity. And it cannot be known as in understood, however it can be sensed, felt, lived….
      And yes, standing the ground after, when separation again feels like ‘reality’ takes courage.


  3. Oh, I just read it on the back of a coffee bag.. 😉
    Thank you deeply!


  4. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13.


  5. mamacirce says:

    This is something we personally can connect with. Throughout our years, we have self-sabotaged out of fear that being who we dreamed to be would take us out our comfort zone – make us something new. Thank you for posting this.


    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here! I’m more than grateful if my post can bring thoughts and perhaps small beautiful change to your world and walk in life. I wish you all the best for your way forward, walking the road of your dreams…


  6. Morgan says:

    Powerful 🙂


  7. I work on this courage every day. I want to burn my candle brightly, leave a light when I truly ‘leave,’ and in the meantime, keep on figuring out what it means to LIVE. Great post.


    • Thank you much for sharing your thoughts! I have no doubt, when this is how you set out to live, you are already living it, even on days when it perhaps seems like far away, it’s still the root of you, the branches might move from side to side, caused by the winds of life but your roots stays strong and firm. I’m sure you are a eight light 😉 to your students too! All the best to you!


  8. rosewyn says:

    Reblogged this on meandmyscorpio and commented:
    This must be read a few times so that it really sinks in. Thought-provoking.


  9. I remind myself daily to have this courage. Great post. Thank you for sharing


  10. myriorama says:

    You’ve touched on these themes in comments over at my place; it’s been good to read this and come to a better understanding of what you were driving at.

    As a storyteller, a story inventor, and as a fearful human being, this does have me shifting uncomfortably in my seat. Sometimes I think the stories I relate or make up are all I have, and if I let them go, I will have nothing but a void. I don’t know how I’d find my way out of the void, if I surrendered the words. I don’t know who or what I’d be. My dream – one that would have taken me to a place where as many moments as possible would have been lived in the moment – came close to coming true three times, and three times it was dashed. I have always wondered what more could I have done to make it come true. Maybe here is an answer for me.

    (And that’s another beautiful free-as-a-bird seascape.)


  11. As you know, I’m not describing a universal truth in any way, I merely share the perspectives I’ve found through a lot of ‘research’ by observation and strange occurrences in my own life and the learning it gave me, which never stays fixed. There is a fluent life to lessons learned too that always keeps me on my toes to look at everything as much as I can muster, with fresh eyes and an open mind.
    You point towards something really significant; the void. It seems it’s something we as humans deeply fear and therefore (as one reason out of perhaps millions) continuously fill up and occupy our being with stuff and stories, generally speaking. However, the void is stunningly beautiful in its emptiness that paradoxical is full, when first entered and much less frightening than looking into it from afar. The void is full of surprises we will never know until we are in it. Being on the edge of the void is like facing death and in some ways, I think it is exactly that. A death of oneself or at the very least, parts of oneself. However to me, such a death is the ultimate freedom to truly be and the love it holds I have no words for. (I think I am repeating myself to you here, my apologies)
    I don’t in anyway see it as a necessary step to surrender your words. Your words seem to me in themselves already a beautiful surrender to what simply is and simultaneously honor what was, in it’s core; love. I don’t see you as being a prisoner of your stories, not when you are in the moment of writing them. Just a spontaneous thought, a question I have no answer to; could it be that you somehow unknowingly are in the void when you write? To me, reading your words, something is being released. I don’t know if this is your experience too, but it certainly is for this reader.
    I don’t look at any of this as in right and wrong. We live our lives the best we can, even when it doesn’t appear great from the outside or the inside of ourselves, yet I still think we are doing our very best in any given moment. If we could have done any better, we would.
    But all that above is perhaps just empty words from me, what truly matters is, if there somewhere in the midst of it all is an answer for a question you hold.


    • myriorama says:

      Thank you for answering my comment so comprehensively.

      I think I am often or at least sometimes ‘in the zone’ when I write, but I’m not sure about the void. I move from directing my thoughts, shaping them, to their suddenly flowing free, with me in a hurry to keep up with them, to get them down. I think if that is a void, it’s a creative one rather than a true abnegation or death of one’s self. But maybe that’s not so far away from what you describe, or perhaps it’s two sides of the same coin, one side an active engagement, the other a release.

      You know, I think if I was living day-to-day in the love, I might so easily surrender the words, and lose myself for good in the void-that-is-love. Of course, I might just as well want to emerge from that void from time to time and communicate what I’d found inside, but often I think it would be enough now, just to be, in love.


      • I can in no possible way add anything to what you, in my view, so profoundly express that I for once will keep quiet not to subtract from it. All I can say is, there is for me strong resonance with every word in your comment. Thank you for sharing this, it’s deeply appreciated.


  12. elmediat says:

    Excellently expressed. The fear/anxiety is independent of exterior and interior environments. In each individual it can cling like a thistle to the fabric of the self image, distorting one’s goals & hopes .

    Liked by 1 person

    • A thistle that holds stories of the past we perhaps unconsciously still allow to guide how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Hence why I also find ‘reality’ an interesting one. Because what is it but our own perception of it lead by the ‘map’ we carry within and how deep the thistle sticks. To free ourselves from a set map within is in my reality one of the greatest and most beautiful achievements of all. Thank you for your read of these words and the comment that followed.


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