Posted by: dianaiannarone | August 11, 2014

Courageous or Compliant?


This thought by Maya Angelou really moved me today. Isn’t it what we are all facing right now?  Aren’t we all tired of all the abuses and manipulations of the world, in our personal world and the larger world? The element of ourselves that we need to access in order to make a difference, is courage. Courage. We all have it, we just have to OWN it, Stand in it, Use it.  And of course there will be people that will label us crazy as we stand in the truth we know in our hearts.  That is the weapon of a master manipulator, they try and convince the world we are crazy, hoping to shame us back into silence. But if we keep standing, eventually our light will awaken those that remain asleep in the darkness. We are not crazy, we are powerful.

Having been asleep for most of my life, ignorant to the truth about the power within me, caused me pain of immeasurable depth. This was caused by my belief it was always up to me to be the bigger person and I had a very warped perception of what being the bigger person meant. I thought being he bigger person was about always doing the right thing, which actually I still believe. What is different now that I am awake, is a new understanding of what the RIGHT THING is. The right thing, should be morally right, not right as someone has told us…and what I know, is to stand in THIS RIGHT, takes massive amounts of courage. I have decided to release the beliefs I have been taught to believe in exchange for ones that stand on a moral high ground based on MY TRUTH, the one I have examined and continue to examine. Every day, as we decide to make a stand we need to access our courage. It is hard and scary. Still in this moment as I do it, I often have those knots in my stomach, that fear in my body, but when I KNOW what is right, what is right is what I will do, and I know that HERE AND NOW many of us our accessing our courage and are ready to stand. I believe now is the time, and it is an honor to stand with you.

Here are two excerpts from different parts of my book that address this concept.  In order to Move from Fear and Control to Love and Freedom, courage is a requirement. As Maya Angelou’s says, without courage, living in our own value system is impossible.

In order to wake up, the first thing we have to be willing to do is recognize and acknowledge that we are asleep. In our asleep state, we are choosing to be unaware of the entirety of ourselves and our circumstance. Not being aware of our own thoughts and feelings allows us to deny truths that are right in front of our eyes. We often believe the authority in our lives, the controller of our circumstance, is outside of ourselves. What if this is false? We must consider that allowing anything outside of ourselves to designate our path may not lead us to where we claim we want to go. Once we choose to begin to awaken to our reality, we are still in a groggy state, and it can take time to decipher what is real and what is a dream, what is good and what is bad. Full wakefulness takes courage and empowerment to then Stand Up in our truth to all that is in the shadows, and finally Live Free.

Living free is about defining who you are by honestly evaluating your own experiences and inner knowing. It is your everyday life moments that teach you what you don’t want; use that information to begin to create a life around what you do want. Living transparently, revealing the fullness of who you are and what you believe, and making choices with acts of love as the premise, takes courage. I invite you into the courageous life of living free.

My message is that there is rarely, if ever, a time when you truly have no choice. You only perceive you don’t have a choice because, perhaps, you don’t like the choices you have. You must be willing to expand your thoughts beyond what you know, into what you don’t know. Perhaps the truth is that you don’t want to trust yourself to take full responsibility for your material and emotional needs. Unfortunately, your ultimate joy won’t come to you until you can. Even if you don’t believe in a God or a power greater than you, you have choices. If you choose not to act, you just have chosen to be a victim. That too is simply a choice. That decision is serving you in some way or you would make a different one. That is not to say it will be easy, it may be the hardest thing you have ever done. Look within to discover the truth. Deciding you are stuck is a sad choice and one that requires little to no courage. You are clutching your fear, but you must let go of that fear to fully experience freedom. Feeling and releasing the fear allows you to finally experience all the good that has been waiting for you to arrive.

All those thoughts that say we have no choice are simply ways for us to remain trapped in our lives. We choose to remain under the perception that people or circumstances have power over us in our life. No one really has power over you; it is all your illusion.

Often we are too afraid to seek information, to see if that little prompting we have that something isn’t right is in fact true. We are afraid to discover what we don’t know, yet often it could save us from our pain. Often the controllers or abusers in our lives let us know that our snooping into their world is unacceptable and so we don’t. We feel guilty about violating their trust, while they regard nothing of ours as sacred. They treat us as if there are no boundaries where we are concerned. We feel we cannot touch their property that is dubbed off limits, even if we just decided that on our own. If we were so harshly accused when we were innocent, imagine the consequence if we did actually do something to violate their trust. So we stay on our tightrope.

We must trust ourselves, we are adults now. We have been given the wisdom we need, we do have choices. Don’t deceive yourself any longer into believing you do not.

Throughout my book a discuss this simple conclusion.  It is simple in words, but it takes courage to actually live it.


  • Once awake we become courageous rather than compliant.
  • Always honor yourself.
  • Honor others as long as honoring others doesn’t cause you to dishonor yourself.
  • If someone is asking you to dishonor yourself for them, that is not okay. Say no.

(second excerpt)

In so many ways we are bound to listen to authority. It is demanded of us sometimes putting us in precarious scenarios. Nearly all of us are taught we MUST do as authority directs. Further, aren’t we taught to not question authority? Perhaps that is where a great deal of our trouble begins. How often are we asked to violate our own principles to satisfy the demands of someone outside of ourselves, whether by a true or perceived leader, or simply someone who has been dubbed authority in our mind? Depending upon the environment, making a stand can be life and death. The circumstances drive just how much courage we need to Stand Up. In making a stand, are we willing to risk the consequences which could be as severe as death? Our mind certainly has a great deal to contend with, in knowing what is real, and what is not, and the resulting appropriate action.

In all realms of our lives, there are those who have good intentions and those who do not. Many studies have proven that we are such good followers that we often comply with any directive by authority, even if it leads us as far as to harm another. We do so, even if we think it is wrong. Even if we believe we would never harm another, under the directive of those that we deem authority, it may be true that anything is possible, until we Wake Up. Has a leader ever required you to do something you disagree with? Look no further than the work environment. How often are we told to institute a consequence on someone based on mere leader direction, or instead to turn a blind eye to behaviors we deem as “wrong?” In any circumstance, should we really choose to violate who we are and what we believe in because of a direct or perceived order? Should we have to choose between being our definition of a good person and being a good employee, soldier, student, citizen, spouse, son, daughter, parent, parishioner, and so on? Can we decide that being a good person shall always prevail, regardless of the depth of the consequences? Do we have the courage to Stand Up to authority both on a small scale in our personal world, and in the world at large?

If we choose to never stand up to authority, never demand the truth, never get in alignment with our values, what might the consequences be?

The challenge always is to distinguish between truth and deception. Is it possible, that at times there are interests other than those explicitly spelled out to us? Could there be agendas underneath what we are being told? I think now is the time we, as a people, are readying ourselves to awaken. We are beginning to make a stand against deceit, deception, and directives with ill intent. My goal is not to make a political stance, my goal is to encourage us to entertain various ideas rather than accepting whatever we are told, sometimes blindly. We should be safe to believe authority, but are we? We must each decide for ourselves.

How extensive is deceit, and how can we begin to know what perhaps we do not know? As your self-awareness increases, so does your awareness of the world around you. So the more self-aware you become, the less likely you will be fooled. The more you begin to be open to knowing, the more you will realize there is so much you may not know. Once awake, you are willing to doubt what you see or hear. When you are willing to doubt, you can stand back far enough to see if it is altruism, honor, caring, or love, that is at the root of the cause, or money, hate, power over, or control of. My hope is we, as human beings, will move toward worthy, truly humble causes of compassion. My hope is that we will honor what we know inside, not what we are being encouraged to believe by those in authority. We will not just be obedient servants, but instead follow our hearts, follow our values, instead of just compliantly acting on what we may have previously accepted as truth. The best way to live in your own integrity is to examine these “facts” and come to your own conclusions. Broaden your knowing. Then, you decide.

Finding my courage has enabled me to live in alignment with who I truly am. I hope together we can encourage everyone to move away from what we have been told and move toward who we really are. Living in alignment with our values is the only way to truly Live Freely.

Copyright © 2014 by Diana Iannarone

If this strikes a chord with you, consider buying my book:

Me and My Shadow

Move from Fear and Control to Love and Freedom.

 On Amazon:

The thoughts in this blog are my opinion. I am neither a medical professional nor a lawyer. To learn more about my work go to

This is my Mission: 

Partner with people to relinquish their chaos and confusion in exchange for clarity and resolution from whatever crisis they find themselves in. 

I do not give legal advice, nor do I use legal principles to apply to your circumstances. Instead I focus on how to empower you to communicate and use proper positioning to win through influential and concise communications. I guide people to Wake Up, Stand Up, Live Free.


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