Heroism, Close and Personal

14 July 2015



I fell in love with a guy when I was 18.  In the forty years since, that love has wobbled and wavered, been tested in a 1,000 different ways, and felt as if it has broken apart completely at various times, breaking me apart along with it.  I’ve survived.  Our marriage has thrived.

Because I’ve seen my husband’s courage in reaching out in spite of his wounds.  Because of me hitting rock bottom only to realize there was still more that I needed to give.  Because of big and small acts of courage.

I think most of us are valiant and determined with our caring.


Hero— a person who,in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage or self-sacrifice for some greater good.    ~ Wiki


Acts of heroism are all around us.  I’m not just referring to the police or the good Samaritan.  I mean by the people in your daily life and mine.

Who has not faced big odds all stacked against them?  A truly terrifying unknown?  Exhaustion in the face of what had to be done?

If you look for it, heroism shows up in lots of ways.

It’s choosing a different path because, despite inherent obstacles, the less traveled one feels more authentic.

It’s rising up, one small step at a time, from the deeply cut wounds of a destructive parent.

It’s living with a child’s grave illness, every breath a whispered prayer for his well-being.

It’s building back from debilitating pain.

It’s opening our minds to beliefs that challenge our own and giving them the space to be equally true.

It’s being 23, opening the door to your brothers in the middle of the night to hear the news that our father has died that day.

The last story is mine  The others belong to people close to me.  There are countless more.  You know things like this about your friends, too.


A man that still inspires courage


“A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt, or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.”  ~Christopher Reeve


There never seemed anything remotely courageous about how I hauled myself through the devastation of my father’s death, but eventually I got to the place where I could honor my feelings for him by remembering him with a genuine smile on my face.

We are privileged to know these intimate parts of our friends’ lives and to see where their road has come from.  We are in a position to appreciate their unique strides forward.

Swishing their capes and brandishing their super powers, Superheroes are cheered on as they strike down oppression or save a child from an archvillain.  Our daily efforts are usually neither obvious nor dramatic, but in our own ways, we often do equally demanding things, usually without validation.

It’s easy for me to take people and their actions for granted.  My friends don’t wear skintight leotards most of the time.  Their special power gadget is the magic but commonplace iPhone.  Like me, they need to brush their teeth in the morning.  Also, like me, they can be annoying or irritating at times.  We’re all ‘too human’.

Which makes helping each other out that much more important.

We need acknowledgement.  A few words from a friend that help us face something scary.  A moment of being known that gives us heart to walk into the dark.

Our lives are the opportunity for this kind of journey again and again.

Can we listen for the acts of courage?  Spot the heroism that comes from facing weakness or doubt?  And from that vantage point, can we support each other’s strengths?

This week I am reminding myself of the ways each person I love has traversed a narrow ledge above a steep drop.

What did you do today that was hard and heroic?  Did you push through a fear on behalf of a greater good?  Offer more than you were confident you had?  Instead of criticizing, did you dig deep for compassion?  Instead of defending, did you soften?

What would you consider the hero’s journey of your life?  If your friends don’t know this about you, and perhaps you’re just now seeing it yourself, can you share it?  What about letting the people you care for see you, and be seen, in this brave way?



About Lisa Sorensen

I'm an architectural designer with a passion for exploring the stretch beyond, the lean toward what we yearn for.
This entry was posted in Connection, Courage, Vulnerability and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Heroism, Close and Personal

  1. katecurran says:

    Reblogged this on kacoatney and commented:
    I’ve always thought everyday heroes are very compelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, Kate. Maybe a lot of us do. We inherently root for the underdog. The ordinary person managing something extraordinary stirs us. I’m loving looking at ‘my ordinary people’ and seeing them in a new light. 🙂


  2. katecurran says:

    Very compelling and thought provoking blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Totally Inspired Mind… and commented:
    Thank you for this.

    Paulette Le Pore Motzko

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Being heroic is not something I ever considered myself to be until I read your post. I guess I was unconsciously heroic when surviving a coma I was not to have awakened from; when I cared for my mother while she passed and then lived through the grieving of my beloved mother (who only became a real friend the last five years of her life); and I can see these heroism in friends who advocate for dogs and one who works so she has the money to bring these abused pups back to a good life, sometimes from the brink of death. Thanks for opening my eyes. I thought heroes were the firemen and women, the police, the army: The ones who saved our lives or died so we could live how we choose to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing some of your experiences, Sue. It’s interesting how you can see heroism in your friends’ actions, but maybe not as easily consider your own actions that way. I’m like that, too. I tend to think I could do a little better rather than pat myself on the back. But I think each of us struggles at times through losses that are just plain tough, miserable, close to unbearable. And when we do that with all the kindness and love we can muster, then I think those acts are heroic. It sounds like you’ve done quite a few of them. I appreciate you being here and adding your thoughts.


  5. Pingback: Treasure Hunt | Lisa Sorensen

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