• Lara Tuepker

GUEST BLOG: Courage Over Comfort

I am not sure when comfort began to win out over courage. I can’t figure out how it became easier to think just one thought of doubt, then throw it all to the fire.

Maybe I started doubting myself and my potential after my first hospitalization. Mental illness makes you question it all. I collapsed completely in fear.

Bipolar Disorder or not, life weighs on everyone, and we all get a little callous eventually.

While I’d like to get to the root of it all in order to heal by figuring out when and where and why my life went sideways, I also feel really good about my current momentum. I am not sure that the pessimistic origin story really matters as much as the starting point that I work from with each new morning. What is most important to me now is actively working to stay healthy. I do what I can to keep ahead of my mind and act in small gestures of courage every day, which has put me on a path that I want to stay on.

In the past couple of months, I have made a small, but crucial decision. I have made it a part of my morning routine to think about what I am grateful for, as well as where I am wanting to go.

Some mornings, the gratitudes that pour out after a deep sleep are simple. "I'm grateful for my dogs."

Some mornings, my thanks hold more weight. "I am grateful that I am waking up sober in a comfortable bed, rather than in a jail cell or hospital room."

No matter the gravity, I have recorded a voice memo on my phone each day of the things in my life that make me feel #blessed. I send them off in a text to a friend who is states away.

Daily, we have shared our dreams of what we hope to see happen, not only in the next 24 hours, but also in terms of the bigger picture that will take time to come to reality. And even some of those things we have spoken aloud to one another with bated breath wondering if/when they'll appear, with small but definite action (this is not about sitting around and waiting), have begun to come to fruition.

My life is changing by informing another person (and in some surprising cases, I have simultaneously informed myself as the words fall out) of the kind of life that I want to live.

There has been more ease, flow, curiosity, excitement, and joy in my life as a result of turning from the black cloud that is doubt. My life is unfolding and becoming as quickly as I can utter the words. On the days that I have been thrown a curve ball or two, I still show up in belief rather than fear.

Because I’m finished playing small.

It is easier to doubt and give up on myself. Somehow, that is more comfortable. But I had to ask what kind of person I wanted to be. Did I want to let fear, uncertainty, skepticism, and apprehension lead? Hell no! That is not how I want to see the world, or my life, appear.

I want to believe in magic, trust, joy, and in taking action. I want to be brave.

And let me tell you, it is brave to tell myself to ignore my doubt, rise up, dream big. No matter how it all turns out, at least I am showing up, and I know one thing for sure:

A life lived showing up with courage and believing in my own potential has already served me more than a life filled with doubt.

My eyes open each morning, and there is no pressure. Instead, I am excited for the day ahead because it is full of potential. There are no hard and fast requirements in my day to day ,other than to bet on me. And if I fail, at least I have failed giving myself a fighting chance.

About Lara:

Lara Tuepker is currently traveling the US with her husband and two pups as they search for the next place to call home. All of this while realizing that home is where you find yourself on any given day. You can read more about the couple's travels and Lara's insights from the road on her blog Newly Nomadic at tuepkers.travel.blog or follow her on Instagram @larahtuepker and see her handstitched products. If you give the morning gratitude practice a try, tag her and let her know how it went.

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