Bravery must be practiced. In the past I have shied away from confrontations and conflicts. I am one of the people who like to make sure everyone is pleased. Pleasing folks was important to me. I don’t know why; maybe it was something I learned from childhood, possibly just wanting to be loved and appreciated. I don’t know the origin, but pleasing folks was hurting me and honestly even hurting the same folks I was always trying to please. How would they get to experience my weird sense of humor and how would I hear their laugher; me offering a gift of joy and they receiving that joy with gladness, all because we fear our own light. Bravery must be practiced.
Last week I attended a meeting with some difficult people. I have always wanted to impress these difficult folks. My heart was racing, my hands sweaty and my mind racing. The night before I could not sleep because I kept trying to figure out how can I get these folks to see me; how can I get them to listen to me; how can I get them to see my worth. Every idea I presented was always overlooked. I sat listening, with a big smile, pretending that all was well. An hour past. All of a sudden, there she was! Before I knew it, my voice burst out of her hiding place, burst out of her cocoon, burst out with a loud pride and spoke with so much force, “I AM TIRED OF GETTING ALONG JUST TO GET ALONG AND I AM NOT DOING IT ANYMORE!” I said nothing else. I didn’t need to.
The Sunday morning hymn played today was, “Brave’, song by Sara Bareilles. Apparently I have been practicing bravery and even though I was scared, bravery showed up, stood by my side and gave me my voice. Go and practice your bravery. Your bravery is always there even on the days your voice is low, squeaky, soft, meek or silent. Keep practicing your bravery and I promise you, one day your voice will come through with so much power, you will even surprise yourself! As the song says:
"You can be amazing You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug You can be the outcast Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love Or you can start speaking up Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do When they settle 'neath your skin Kept on the inside and no sunlight Sometimes a shadow wins But I wonder what would happen if you Say what you wanna say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave."
Be brave my friends!