Everybody's been there, Everybody's been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is
I am a huge Sara Barielles fan. I love her songs and her lyrics always make me think about things. I own three of her cd's and listen to them all way too much. Her latest song that is on the radio talks about being brave and the lyrics that you read at the start of my blog are from her song about being brave.
Have you ever had to show the world how big your brave is? I never would have described myself as brave. But as I have sat here at 10:39 pm at night on a Tuesday staring at the ceiling searching my past I have realized I actually have had some times in my life that I have actually been brave. It took some brave to sing a solo in 7th grade in front of my middle school in California, a duet in ninth grade with Mike Johnson in front of the school and many more singing and playing the piano instances. I found some brave when I ran for a class office at my high school. Brave was present when I tried out for jazz choir in high school. When I left home and went to college in Utah at BYU that was a little bit brave.Wearing leg warmers on a date....brave...duh :) Ears pierced....getting my drivers licence...going back east to be a nanny....recognizing the situation was not so good at the nanny gig and getting out....being vulnerable and admitting I liked a boy...confronting a roommate who was having a boy in our teeny tiny dorm room overnight....running 6.2 miles....killing a spider....picking up a dead chicken....packing up many a house and moving many a time.... reaching out to tell someone how I felt even though it could end up hurting....getting a job....buying a purple shirt with black polka dots and wearing it.
And yet there seem to still be way too many instances when I was not brave and I should have been. What makes us decide not be brave? What are we afraid of? For way too many years my fear of what other people would think has kept my brave at bay. Another thing that keeps me from being brave is my fear of conflict. And last but not least I most sincerely do not want to hurt anyone but now I know firsthand that I hurt them more but not being brave.
You all know how I love synonyms and antonyms and I could hardly wait to see the synonyms and antonyms of the word brave. I love how synonyms and antonyms gather around a word and give it support and dimension. I was stunned when I saw the contrast in the synonyms and antonyms of the word brave. Yes, I am going to tell you all about what I saw :) It first listed some words like bold, intrepid, daring dauntless, heroic. And then it said that brave, courageous, fearless, valiant, and gallant refer to confident bearing in the face of facing difficulties or dangers. It told me that brave is the most comprehensive but it said courageous implies an even higher or nobler kind of bravery. So if you take it to the courageous level you have an inborn quality of spirit or mind that faces and endures perils or difficulties without fear and even with some enthusiasm. But if Sara would have used the word courageous in the place of brave in her lyrics we all know it would have just not been the same song. I mean can you sing along in the car to the words "I just want to see you be courageous"...yeah, not so much huh? So I am glad she used the word brave even though courageous is top dog in this arena of words. Anyhow, I will not bore you with the full paragraph of synonyms about brave in Mr. Dictionary but what struck me was how there was a full paragraph about the synonyms of brave and then there was very simply and starkly the word antonym and under it one word....pause, for dramatic effect.... cowardly. I felt bad for cowardly...no friends no supporters just alone.
It gave me determination. I want to be on the synonym paragraph side. I want to be brave.The few times I have been brave have truly felt amazing. Being brave does not mean you are not afraid... it is about being afraid but moving forward anyway. They say the first step towards being brave is to admit you are afraid...not to the world just simply to yourself. Maybe you could do it in the shower. Just say it out loud....I am afraid of..... Then the next step seems to be finding yourself a role model. Hmmm who is my role model of brave? Who do I know that has faced adversity and done it bravely? Which Disney princess should I choose? :) What about Eowyn? Arwyn? Anne Frank? Helen Keller? Frodo? After you choose which Disney princess you think faced adversity the best then you make a decision. Ask yourself three simple questions....Is this the right thing to do? Is this the only way to resolve the situation? Am I prepared to face the consequences? And then the last recommended step is to not think anymore and just act....WHAT? :) Who does that? :)
My life has been greatly shaped by people who are brave and sadly probably even more shaped by people who are not brave. The cowardly people in my life have made me sad. I think I understand how they feel because I have played on team cowardly many times myself. So I can not in good conscience say anything about them :) But I do wish they would figure out if they want to fight for something or not and just do it.
So does it feel like something in your life is not right? Is something missing? Do you feel pain and anger towards yourself and others? These are apparently signs that something in your life needs to be remodeled, changed or revitalized. Can you overcome the fear of rejection? Or the fear of what other people may think? Or the humongous fear of change?
I have so many examples around me of people who are living their lives out loud and brave and I admire them greatly and am grateful for their example. I want to do that. I want to be true to myself. I have made lots of baby steps. I am brave about driving in the snow. I am brave about being honest. I am brave about letting you see my house messy :) I am brave about saying no. I am brave about not following the mapquest exactly :) I am brave about being vulnerable. I just need to be brave about spiders and then all will be well :)
So come on show me how big your brave is :)