A dear friend of mine recently said, to me after I come across yet another obstacle in my journey to getting my book published, she said, “Oh Kel, Why do we always have to constantly be so &**()^ brave?” I actually dismissed the answer at the time… I didn’t mean to, but it’s such a big question.
I want to address it now at least, part of it. The mere definition of Brave means,“…to be ready to face and endure danger and pain, while showing courage and without showing fear…”Cambridge English Dictionary
I’m not sure how to answer her question, but i’ll give it a go! Here are just three ideas out of my list I would like to share with you about the struggle to keep our head up!
1.We are Hard-Wired to Be Brave.
We talk about fear all the time like it is a bad thing. We talk about being strong for a long time like it’s a bad thing. We talk about being in and enduring pain, fatigue, loneliness, heartache and trauma like its all so terrible. Well yes it’s not nice, its not pleasant, and its certainly uncomfortable and at times quite tragic…But we seem to forget… we were born… so we could live. We were born so we could survive.
Our body has been gifted with certain things to help us. For example; our brain, body, physical strength, creativity, and emotions all make up our hard wiring. If we never had a difficult time in our life, our brain would have no idea how to conceptualise what it sees, how it responds and the kind of reaction it will have to something. Your brain is wired with an internal alarm system. Too much stimulus could quite possibly make the hard wiring short circuit, and that is when other coping strategies step in… then we learn to survive. Sometimes those circuits rewire and make new pathways. Your brain is amazing like that.
We were born to survive and we are hard wired to ‘get through stuff.’ It can be tiring… but its not all bad! Our brain was designed to deal with things that scare us…and to come up with solutions and solve the problems in front of us. That creates resilience. It creates character. It builds people. You can be brave, you were born with the wiring in you!
2. Being Brave Leads to Growth.
Challenging yourself when you feel afraid, allows you the chance to grow and learn. If you have a fear response to a certain stimulus, learning to recognise whether it as a good or bad thing is a learned response. Challenging those learnt responses is what will provide you the opportunity for growth, healing, and change. That is part of the battle. The other, is knowing you will be safe when you open the door to that fear. Knowing what will happen when you accept that challenge. Will you be okay? Can you control the outcome?
Sometimes the greatest opportunities for growth come when you are brave enough to stop assessing the risk and just do it anyway. You cannot control everything. But you can learn how to challenge your fear responses.
3. Being Brave Helps us Move Forward.
It’s easy to stay where it is safe. It is easy to say that I can’t do it. It is easy to stay where you know, where nothing can get you, harm you, and kill you. Moving forward is an unknown. Yet we all want something in this life and that means we have a decision to make.
Do we stay where it’s warm and comfortable… or do we set sail and make the most of the journey we have. By being brave, you give yourself the chance to have the life you dreamed about before whatever hurt you made you too afraid to go and get it.I’m trying right now NOT to let those things get in the way of what I do next. Don’t stay where you are too long… you might miss the chance.
Yes I know how it feels to be tired. For those who have an understanding of the bible you might be familiar with the word Long-suffering. I’m not saying don’t be comfortable, but just don’t hide when it get UN-Comfortable. Be brave enough to see why you feel that way, and challenge the feeling.
We live in a world where we want things to be done now… and that includes wanting the pain to go away, the anger, the hurt. They are there for a reason and teach us about ourselves. We must listen. It also teaches us that we believe in something, that we love, are loved and have value.
We are all on a journey. Just don’t miss the best parts of it by being too comfortable. Trust that you have what it takes and move forward in whatever circumstance you are in, knowing you are hard wired to survive, to be brave… and you have what it takes to learn and grow.