Pride & Courage
Pride is the stage wherein we reexamine our behavior in comparison to a broader, less self-centered set of values. In shame we believed how very worthless we were and accepted any attack as well deserved. We clean up remnants of shame and guilt, this time with the power resources gained from anger, the energy of which is required to come into alignment with the universal standards of dignity and honor we can only now begin to recognize and aspire to.
The Basis of Our Value
Although this rise in self-esteem and confidence is wonderful, the flaw is that Pride feels good based on external conditions like status, recent accomplishment, and appearances. All of these things will change and can be taken away, hence self-esteem is fragile. Haven’t you in your life, as well as nations throughout history, gone through painful cycles, first puffed up then deflated? The struggle between the pleasure of self-esteem and the instability of worth based on changing conditions will give rise to something sustainable – our inherent value.
The Feeling of Pride: Shiny and Solid
Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe long deep breaths through your nose. Through your breath and body and earth feel well supported, comfortable, and safe. Retain this grounded feeling and now focus at your forehead and above your head. Imagine you have access to the space above you, the sky above that, and the whole universe beyond that.
Now focus on the motivating force of you wanting to achieve, accomplish, and get something done. Follow a memory in which your efforts paid off nicely. Go ahead and feel proud as a peacock, beautiful, bright, shinny. Without leaving this, can you quickly compare it to when you felt ashamed? But quickly come back using the memory of accomplishment, if necessary, and just see yourself on a pedestal, on a throne. Enjoy for a moment.
Come back to your grounding and your vastness. Now, can you think of one quality, character trait, or positive attribute that you clearly know and trust about yourself. Sit and allow yourself to feel this quality and feel good about yourself because of this quality that you know you are. Do you see that it cannot be taken away?
Courage: The Feeling that Stems from Pride
Courage is the FREEDOM from our own concerns that has us effortlessly take actions that benefit others. That those selfless actions are a source of strength for the giver is a paradigm shift that holds true for all the higher stages to come. One way to arrive at this is to actively take care of one’s needs. Consciously applied Self-ishness, boundary setting, channeling Anger, getting needs met is essential work. However one arrives at courage, it has a deeper basis of contentment which relieves us of the constant efforts of gaining and proving.