All Your Courage

All Your Courage - Lyrics Words and Music by Angie Nussey

Have you ever said something? A strike of ammunition comes flying out of your mouth without your permission?

Did you ever act out? Or lose control? Do the wrong thing? Or so you were told?

Have you ever wondered If it all amounts to something? Perhaps your blunder is triggering some intuition?

Did you ever notice just as your falling a new path is calling. It's calling...

And it takes all your courage to move one step more. But you’re the one who lit the match, threw it down on kerosene. Little did you know that bridge would burn like you’ve never seen. Board by board. ‘Till you realize: this is just what you’ve been waiting for.

Did you ever feel wrong? So wrong you couldn’t stand it? And as you make a change it disappears as if you planned it?

Does your life unfold like you’re watching a movie? With every painful scene a different kind of beauty. Have you felt the torment of resistance? When everything you didn’t want breathes into existence.

Have you ever noticed that moment in the darkness when your fear is at its worst? You’re breaking…

And it takes all your courage to move one step more. But you’re the one who lit the match, threw it down on kerosene. Little did you know that bridge would burn like you’ve never seen. Board by board. ‘Till you realize: this is just what you’ve been waiting for.

Just what you’ve been waiting for. Just what you’ve been waiting for. Just what you’ve been waiting for.

But you’re the one who lit the match, threw it down on kerosene. Little did you know that bridge would burn like you’ve never seen. Board by board. ‘Till you realize: this is just what you’ve been waiting for.

Just what you’ve been waiting for. Just what you’ve been waiting for. Just what you’ve been waiting for.

All Your Courage

 “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” - Steve Jobs

A few years ago, two birds were hanging out together in our backyard. Suddenly, one of the birds flew straight into our living room window. He hit so hard he died instantly and fell to the ground. His partner stood by his lifeless body all day long. I kept going back to the window to investigate this odd scenario. I wondered what was going through the living bird’s head? Was she sad? Was she confused? Did she not know what to do without her partner? Or was it more than that? Was she grieving? Before I knew it, I was grieving right alongside her. Needless to say, I am a very sensitive person. My connections to all living things run deep. I do a lot of tree hugging. I save worms and beetles from the misfortune of being stepped on. I still remember, as a child, the heartbreak of witnessing my dad fishing and the horror of watching fish struggle for life in the bottom of the boat. And so, for me, life became a tragedy. Sadness was an everyday occurrence, and I had no idea that not everyone was as sensitive as I was. I certainly had no idea that my sensitivities, and the bridges I would burn as a result of those sensitivities, would be a guiding force on my path. All Your Courage is about having the courage to embrace ALL of who you are and trusting your intuition, even when it might seem to be steering you wrong.

 Admittedly, I've been a seeker for as long as I can remember. I had a friend once say: “You’re such a self-help junkie!” and suddenly I felt ashamed for having very little interest in anything other than psychology, spirituality, and of course, music. I was seeking some kind of explanation for why I felt so uncomfortable and out of place in this world. My music and songwriting have been the outcomes of this deep-rooted need to seek clarity as to why I was so sad all the time. My early investigations into this constant seeking eventually led me to conclude that I was struggling with depression. For years, I was satisfied with this explanation. I only started to question it in my mid-thirties when I got a glimpse of true happiness... the kind of happiness that only comes from self-acceptance. As these new feelings of self-love began to grow in my heart, I started to view my journey from a new perspective. I no longer believe I was depressed for a large chapter of my life. I now attribute my struggles to my sensitive personality. It was in my early twenties, while living with roommates that I started to notice the intensity of my sensitivities. I just couldn't handle life the way they could. I didn’t fit in and mostly preferred to hide out by myself. This created a huge sense of internal conflict because even though I wasn’t a follower, I still wanted to fit into this world. Yet, I couldn’t figure out how to function in a world that seemed so backwards and insane (and still does). For many like me, it can feel like there's no escape. And that's where the depression comes in... when you feel hopeless and trapped. Over time, I’ve learned that sometimes we feel depressed because we’re on the wrong path and we’re too afraid to make the courageous decisions that will lead us to true happiness. We’re afraid of making mistakes, being judged, or being too wild. So, we do what we’re supposed to do and resist what our soul is calling us to do. We shut down our intuition when it’s screaming at us to be courageous. 

As much as I’m a person who tries to follow my intuition, I don’t always do so in the brave way a warrior does. Instead, I wait until circumstances are so dire and so out of control that I act impulsively. As an example, many years ago, I was riding the subway in Toronto with a friend. It was a Monday morning and we were heading to our office jobs downtown. I remember looking at her and thinking: She doesn't look like she wants to cry right now. How is that possible? I felt like crying every single morning AND every single night. Then one day... I just “up and quit” my office job. It wasn’t a calculated decision. I wasn’t thinking things through or making lists of the pros and cons. My decision came out of sheer desperation. I just couldn't do it anymore. It didn’t surprise anyone close to me that I would quit on a whim. In fact, it was just like me to quit the job, dump the boyfriend, or tell someone what I REALLY thought of them in a moment of near hysteria. It’s extremely nerve-racking when you hear the voice in your head saying the “appropriate” words while the words flying out of your mouth are totally different. It’s like Jim Carey in the movie “Liar, Liar” where he can’t help but tell the truth no matter how hard he tries to keep his mouth shut and avoid the disastrous consequences. So many times I’ve wanted to reach into the sky and pull words back into my mouth, or press the rewind button and delete certain actions. Then there are other times when I’ve wanted to take action and couldn’t. I once had a five-album recording contract on my kitchen table for over a week. Each page had been initialled and all I had to do was sign my name on the dotted line, but the pen wouldn’t move. It was as though my hand turned to cement every time I tried to sign that contract. How was I going to explain this to the label executive who’d spent the last three months negotiating the deal? 

I’ve burned many bridges… but, in hindsight, these burning bridges triggered some higher intuition and led to positive consequences that I couldn’t have planned better if I’d tried.

I didn’t know that the boyfriend I broke up with would become a great friend and supportive colleague. I wasn’t aware that as soon as I walked out of my job, an opportunity to become a full-time musician would magically show up within a week. I had no idea that a temper tantrum would end up helping someone with their business. And I was shocked when the record label my cement hand wouldn’t sign with, shockingly crumbled leaving the artists who had signed would owe for years on albums that were never marketed properly. 

Sometimes the only way to prevent going backwards is by burning the bridge behind you. At least that’s how it’s worked in my little world. When I look back on the many, frantic, hostile, rash decisions, vocalizations, and “blunders” I have made, I can see the incredible path of a woman who had a bit of wild in her. It's not something I'm particularly proud of, but I'm not ashamed of it either (anymore). I can now see that what I used to call depression was intense sensitivity mixed with a fear of living courageously. 

I've grown to appreciate that, as you courageously burn the bridge back to what you know, you’re left with only one choice: to move one step more onto a new path… into the unknown.

As I write this, in these strange times of the COVID-19 pandemic, I realize there are many people who have had their bridges burned down and we are all walking into the darkness together. It will take courage to walk forward.... All Your Courage. 

-Edited by Lise Leblanc