Bravery and Courage for the Sake of Love (and health;)
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks. You are free” ~ Jim Morrison
Before I start talking about “bravery” and “courage”, I want to give you the specific definitions I am using for the purpose of this series.
Brave: People who are ready to face and endure unpleasant conditions or behavior.
Courage: The confidence to act in accordance with one’s beliefs and face convictions in times of difficulty with firmness of mind and great strength.
And I want to introduce the whole what and why for this series and how it is so vital to my life and also necessary for you to reach your highest potential with whatever it is your big heart desires….. I think in order for you to have any reason to listen to me, you might want to know why I have any authority over either of these titles. Yes? Okay. Let’s get started.
I never viewed myself as being courageous or brave, instead it was quite the opposite. I viewed myself as a coward, a “cop out” and subjected myself to people who validated those lies for me for many years. By the age of 25 I had a failed marriage and a sick daughter who was (and is!), of course, the light of my life. I was depressed and unhappy and felt very trapped in this “life” that I didn’t really think I had asked for at all. I would later realize that I asked for just about everything that came my way in some form or fashion.
My husband at the time had no faith in me but what I did have was a child who needed me to be brave and courageous in the face of danger or pain. Unpleasant conditions. And unpleasant conditions were indeed what we were faced with during my daughter’s early years.
She was born with a congenital heart condition and would eventually have a total of seven open heart surgeries. The first four taking place in her first three years of life. Each one with great risks and danger involved. Was it scary? No. It was HORRIFYING. It was (looking back) absolutely everything that could break my spirit and my heart all wrapped up into one need for the greatest amount of courage, bravery and love that I would ever be able to muster. BUT I did it. I sat in the ICU day after day and night after night reading to her and talking to her and holding her hand, somehow deep down knowing that “everything will be okay….someday.”
That someday came and after months and even years of horrifying surgeries and doctor appointments; she was safe and healthy. The greatest gift I could have ever received. And there is no doubt in my mind how strong and brave I was for the sake of my beloved daughter. I would do it all over again if I had to, without question.
But I started to believe the lie that I was not enough. I was not a good enough wife, I was not a good enough mother because I felt like I could never get a break which only led to more guilt because after all, I was a mother. Why in the world did I think I was entitled to “breaks”? Well, I thought that was part of the whole “marriage” and “partnership” thing and it turned out, in this particular case I was wrong. I didn’t marry a bad man. He is a good father but we didn’t have the tenacity to make the marriage work after the energy it took to get through all of my daughter’s health issues. He didn’t believe in me and it broke my heart. I believed the lies I was told and began to doubt myself and my decisions to the core. I am in NO WAY placing BLAME on anyone. Not even myself. This is a story and my stories don’t include blame.
Listening to the lies and believing the lies will eventually come together. And as I said, I was believing them. I was not strong. I was not important. I was not a good wife. I was not a good mother. I was not lovable. I was difficult. I was not good. I was broken. I needed to be fixed.
These lies are the most dangerous of the lies we tell ourselves and God forbid, we have someone else telling us the same thing. Unfortunately, I took these beliefs about myself and tucked them away in the forefront of my mind and set out to do what I thought I was meant to do. Fail. As big as I could. Because I don’t do much of anything SMALL. I go big or go home as they say. Well, I should have gone home. Instead I found a whole new home full of all the monsters and horror one could find.
I will get into that story in Part 2 of the series but all of this is to preface that bravery, love and courage will win out every time if you pursue with grace and intent.
I am now an avid yoga lover, a certified holistic health coach, personal trainer and play an active, first hand role in my daughter’s life. Teaching her to pursue a life of beauty, health and love. I am so proud of who we have both become in the face of different but yet very real adversity. And I look forward to sharing the second part of this story with you.Until then, I hope you will take a minute to think about what it is that you desire most out of your life right now. Where are you trying to go? What are you trying to overcome? Do you have a plan? Are you feeding yourself with healthy food and ALSO with soul food? Meaning feeding your soul with the things that make you come alive?
In this series, we will cover all of those topics and how I might be able to help you. I believe it is my purpose to share my story, my education and knowledge with you. I know what it feels like to look adversity in the face and be scared to death but to move through it. So can you, with bravery and courage. And love. Always love.
Until next week. Choose love. Be Brave.
With Grace and Courage,