Bravery is nowhere to be found

Isn’t it amazing how we can think ourselves so brave and project courage to the world without a sliver of doubt?At other moments we can feel so afraid and doubting that we hide our face from an unknown opportunity?

run.from.past.cheetahToday I saw a ghost from my past. We cannot deny our past anymore than we can be certain o our future. People and events are not just memories, they shape us and hopefully make us smarter and stronger. We make mistakes or others cause us harm, but what good is living if we cannot move past those moments and use those as lessons to grow? What good comes from worrying that we somehow ruined everything because of one choice?

I thought that was your car as I walked into the store and there you were. I quickly pulled out my phone and checked my email so I would not have to look you in the eye. My bravery faltered and hid beneath the nearest table. At the time I wanted to say Hello, but I listened to fear who said “It will be awkward, you will look stupid, you are not ready.” So I waited until you left. It was a small store so no doubt you saw me and also decided that this was not our time to meet again.

Now, hours later my bravery is talking to me. The same courage which I have used so often before without hesitation to fight, stand up, and be heard. Now that my fear has run off with my doubt I can clearly hear my courageous voice. I should have looked you in the eye and said Hello.  Nothing bad would have happened. The memory of our last meeting may have filled the air with some tension, but it wouldn’t have caused any lasting damage. You would have replied the same and we would go about our days.  

Until next time. I hope there is a next time so that I can prove what happened with you was a lesson I needed to learn.  

I often have a hard time letting go of the past. What I have learned so far is no matter what, that person is a part of my life. They were added during a very interesting time, right before I gave in to life’s request that I open my eyes to look at the world in a new way. They are a part of the me that existed before I consciously chose to fix the parts of that were broken. That person is not bad, I wish them no pain. We both made choices that we have to live with.

What I share with you today is a lesson that EVERYONE can consciously choose to let go and forgive ourselves and others. When we do that we offer ourselves inner peace because focusing on hate has no place in peace. We are human, we are imperfect. It is okay that your bravery falters sometimes. You will have many chances.  Don’t berate yourself for being afraid. Don’t live in the past. Accept every part of you. It is okay.

 When was the last time bravery failed you?

Do you make a habit of listening to fear?

Are you willing to forgive yourself or others?

Will you choose to learn from mistakes and wrongs?

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7 Comments

  1. Great article! Bravery is learned. It doesn’t come from yourself alone. Its instilled inside you when your so afraid that you MUST seek out help and enCouragement. Each time fear raises its ugly head, we must face it..trembling or not and say I will be brave and walk forward anyway! The next time your afraid, recognize it as simply an opportunity to be brave again! 🙂

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  2. I’m ashamed at how often I avoid people in stores–people I know well and acquaintances both. Even if we don’t have awkward history. I generally forgive myself for this social tic because most conversations that happen in stores are inane anyway. I do at least try to smile if the person glances my way. That’s something.

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  3. Leah,

    Great post, maybe you ran in to this person so you could write this blog for others to read. You experienced a moment I can relate to. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes and self created pain. Forgiving others is my path to feeling joy and creating healthy relationships. I’m committed to staying out of the victim role to the best of my ability. Thanks for sharing.
    Roberta

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