My 2019 was supposed to be the year of peace but I’ve found most of the last 10 months have been spent feeling uncomfortable, challenged, and often at a crossroads where I’m pushed to be complacent or bold. Further, what I’ve uncovered is that part of the discomfort I’ve been experiencing, part of the vulnerability that seems to permeate my day to day recently, has to do with my constant choice to always, always be brave.
Brave isn’t a feeling though. It’s not an emotion or something that simply comes over you. It’s instead a choice, a decision to let go or, on the contrary, be all in.
Some ways I’ve been brave this year include:
Telling a close friend how I felt in an escalating situation instead of letting it fester in my heart. This required a phone call and while uncomfortable, resulted in a closer relationship with a deeper level of trust and love.
Making a hard career decision that I know my heart and family deserves in this season, even though my ego is stomping her feet and wailing the entire time. I’ve been required to be brave professionally and to stand up for myself and my boundaries. Sharing this with the world soon will require more bravery.
Deciding to carve out one to two hours a week for counselling. One hour dedicated to myself and my own mental health and a second for time with my husband to pour back into our marriage. The brave part here isn’t me going to sessions but freely talking about them with others like I am now.
Taking a good look at our physical belongings and deciding to let them go to new homes. Not because we don’t like the things we have but because we don’t love many, and many there are. It’s in this process of purging I’ve uncovered yucky feelings of guilt that I (we) have accumulated so much over the years in an effort to fill a void (or so I assume this is the reason this has all happened and many tangible goods have found their way into our possession). I’ve been brave to make a big effort to pare back and live with less. And to be comfortable with the idea of my treasured things belonging to others, an unusual territorial fear I apparently have.
Starting another candida cleanse to clear my gut and my mind. But I’m being brave by sharing here that about three weeks in I decided to take a break from such a restricted way of eating because it was just too hard this time around. I love the intense energy levels and clarity that such restricted eating brings me but more so I loved how much weight I lost and how I looked last time I did the cleanse; and that alone isn’t a reason to commit to such a lifestyle. I’m being brave by believing that me, right now, as is, is enough.
Building new relationships and cultivating existing ones even though it’s taken a lot of vulnerability and planning to do so. Things like play dates with new mom friends and their kids, starting a book club hosted in my home, and even going to lunch with my father in law just for fun, have all been thanks to my bravery.
Admitting my weaknesses. I am too hard on myself. I often feel like I am not enough. I easily fall into the comparison trap. But also celebrating my strengths and gifts. I’m passionate and loyal. I’m a really good mother. I give 100%. I’m reliable. And pretty funny too.
Trying new things that are complete deviations from how I normally roll. This includes new floral designing strategies and approaches, joining a small group at church, throwing out family traditions that weren’t working for us anymore, and making so.much.soap. A lot of days I feel like I’m a circus performer making sure all the things get done well, but I also want to make sure I’m enjoying myself because while a circus performer ends up going home at the end of the show, for me, this is my life. This quite literal act of balancing is all me being BRAVE.
And I get six more weeks in 2019 to be just that.
What brave thing have you done recently?