When you are discouraged, as I am at the moment, simple things look impossible. Taking action seems as difficult as walking up a greasy wall in flip flops. In biblical times discouraged people, then called sluggards, were heard to say “there is a lion in the way, yea, a lion!” Of course there’s a lion in the way, there is always a lion.
When we are encouraged, by events, people, luck, the world looks entirely different. It is no longer a problem that stops you in your tracks that there is a lion in the way. Here you go, lion.
Courage, it has been said many times, is not the absence of fear but the presence of mind to carry on in spite of fear. Easy to think of it as a matter of character, the brave die but once and so forth, but there are also tides, and winds that blow, amines in the brain, events, people, luck that will either aid your courage or sap it.
It is important to remind yourself, in times of low tide, that tides turn, that the moon and other forces are arranging it even as hope seems far over the barnacle and slime encrusted rocks. If all goes well, everything will be fine. If not, there will probably be time to cry about it.
“Eh, you’re just trying to make yourself feel better, loser,” says a voice less charitable than one might wish to hear when you are feeling discouraged.
“You’re probably right,” you think to say, but wisely say nothing instead.