Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Change Begins Within


Change begins within.

               In the world we live in today, there are so many reasons for us to feel discouragement tugging at our smiles and weighing us down. It can be difficult to find the hope and the purpose to keep us going through dark times.

               I stumbled across an article written by Margie Warrell entitled “12 Everyday Acts of Courage to Create the Life You Really Want.” It made me realize how easy it is to make changes to your life and grow into a courageous person. We were not made to live our lives in doubt or fear, but to live lives of strength and purpose in Christ.

               The courage to take responsibility. It can be so easy to make excuses and justifications for not helping others and reaching out more. But we share responsibility to help one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

               The courage to live with integrity. Living with integrity means living according to your values. It means doing what’s right instead of taking the easy way out.

               The courage to challenge your stories. Challenge your perception of yourself, of others, of the world around you. Allow your perception to shift so you can see with new eyes of gratitude.

               The courage to dream bigger. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Each one of us was made for greatness so don’t be afraid to dream big.

               The courage to be who you are. God didn’t create us to be identical “cookie cutter” Catholics. Everyone has his or her own gifts, and He has a unique plan for each one of us if we can find the courage to live authentic lives and stay true to ourselves.

               The courage to speak up. There are so many people around the world and in your community who don’t have someone to stand up for them and stand beside them when times get tough. Find them and be their voice.

               The courage to step boldly into action. We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch injustice destroy lives. Our actions mean so much more than our silence.

               The courage to persevere. Don’t ever give up on yourself or others because God will always give you the strength to overcome all things. And don’t ever give up on God because he will never abandon you.

               The courage to say no. Don’t be afraid – and don’t feel guilty – to say no to the things that hold us back from being mentally healthy and becoming the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

               The courage to open your heart fully. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and let someone in. It takes true courage to tear down each other’s walls and bare our souls.

               The courage to let go. Sometimes we need nothing more than to let go of the worries and the sins that are holding us back from being the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Sometimes we need to let go of our past to make room for an amazing future.

               The courage to be a leader. This sounds scary; but truly what the world needs is individuals like you who can set examples of what it means to be a courageous follower of Christ.

               The world around us is a beautiful place, but it can also be full of dark and disheartening tragedies. It’s so easy to focus on the bad and feel like there’s nothing we can do to make a change. Consider the famous quote from Leo Tolstoy: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” We have the power to change the world into a better place, even if it is in a small way. I hope you can find in your heart the courage to create the life you truly want and together with everyday acts of courage we can change this world and love one another more deeply. Remember … change begins within.