The “little engine that could” had to be fueled by something. Was it peanut butter and banana sandwiches, coffee, or chocolate? Maybe. Or was it friendships, personal certainty, or spiritual enlightenment? No matter what his fuel was, he managed to summon the courage and determination to do what seemed impossible. I don’t think his courage came first. Something else did because courage is an action and you need fuel to make an action happen. There had to be an energy deep inside. And I know that I need to find this energy to fuel my courage for the impossible circumstances that might rise before me.
There are days that take my entire internal drive to get through. The slogging-in-deep-snow days. Those days I grumble and plod. Or I climb through only the next minute one step at a time. The deep fuel to get through those days is quickly drained. And when there are too many days like that in a row, it leaves me terribly depleted. Courage? Pretty hard to summon when you have no fuel. But I need bravery, and maybe you do too?
There are tell tale signs that my energy is getting low. My desk gets messy. I don’t go outside unless I have to. I surf Facebook. And I make yet another to-do list hoping the fire will kick in. All the ways that I can fill my tank come from the opposite of these symptoms. I need to clear the clutter. I need to go for a walk or meet a friend. I need to put away social media. And I need to do something, not make another list.
My well-being is tied directly to my well being full. My fuel comes mostly from direct connection with other like-minded people and a connection to the greater whole. I need social contact, the kind that comes from friends who love you as you are and don’t ask you to be something else. I need the colour and texture of nature. I need space and fresh air so I can remember that though I am small, I am perfectly unique.
Courage is living. And I cannot be ‘the little engine that could’ with an empty well. Luckily I have found my fueling stations. I hope you can too.