Our world values adventure, exploration, the thrill of the unknown. Forward motion, movement, the thrill of the chase. Quitting a job, breaking off a relationship, moving to a new city. We look at these things and applaud the courage needed to take such a risk, perhaps wishing we had the courage to live on a whim as others seem to. And those things do take courage.
But I wonder if in all our praise of big movements, we overlook a different kind of courage. The courage to stay in a job that maybe isn’t the best thing we’ll ever have, but it is what we have for now. The courage to work through the hard stuff in a relationship instead of trading it in for a new one. The courage to keep living in the same place even when the shine has worn off.
Sometimes it takes an incredible amount of courage to do what we can, with what we have, where we are.
And I think we forget that.
It can be risky to stay just as it is risky to go. Staying often means confronting the fear that we may actually be stuck, and that the staying was not a decision so much as a resignation. But while staying and being stuck can look the same, it doesn’t mean they are.
Staying is an intentional choice. Being stuck is the refusal to make one.
There are certainly times when leaving is the wisest choice. Soul-sucking jobs, toxic relationships, terrible living environments—there are some things we must leave.
Other times though, staying is an option. It may not seem exciting or flashy or adventurous.
But staying can have value all its own. If all we ever do is leave, we never learn the kind of courage it takes to stay.
Til next time…
p.s How has staying been an act of courage for you?