“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.” – Brenè Brown

“Wow. Your [unsent attack responses to a troll email] are really ballsy. I couldn’t do it. I’d just be really hurt and cry.”

“You would get your feelings hurt and cry?”

Laura reluctantly responded, “Yes. Why?”

“Well…”, I hesitated “I’m thinking that crying and getting my feelings hurt would be the brave option for me”

Laura sounded surprised. “What do you mean?”

I explained as best I could. “Mean and nasty is my default setting. It doesn’t take courage for me to be shaming back. I can use my shame superpowers for evil in a split second. Letting myself feel hurt — that’s a totally different story. I think your default is my courage.”

We talked about it for a while and decided that Laura’s courage is acknowledging hurt without running from it, and my courage is acknowledging hurt without hurting back.