To be brave.
The universe is begging us. Pleading with us. To be brave. To be who we are. To be our real self. To, no holds barred, take on the world. With every bit of power and might that we possess.
And so. We tell our boys daily. Be brave. Be you. Be exactly who you want to be.
But as parents, do we forget that for us? Do we forget to be brave? Do we stop testing ourselves?
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post. About me. And how I had adopted a new mantra of You are not her. When I adopted that, it was because I decided I would not just live every day for my children. But instead, I would take note each day, that I get to be me. A person. A woman. A wife. A mother. And so much more. And so, that inspired me to do something yesterday that I haven’t done for a very long time. I sang in church. Not just sang with the praise band. I sang a song. In front of people. Without being the alto in the background. I’ve done it in my hometown church a little more recently. But the truth is, it was hard. Because while I used to love to sing and while, 15-20 years ago, I was fairly confident singing in front of people, with each turn of the calendar, I become a little more afraid of those parts of life. I’ve never had the voice per se. But for awhile, I had the passion and confidence. And that’s all it takes sometimes. To be brave. To share those raw, vulnerable pieces. The ones that show when I have to step out of my comfort zone and into a place of unknown. A place where I could be judged. Or where I could miss a note and feel plagued by that for the next 12 years until I get up the courage to try again.
And then it occured to me… Age and experience have stifled my ability to be brave. To try new things. To try, try again. I am perfectly comfortable being the me that I’ve become. I’ve had 32 years to embrace that. But reaching beyond… Putting myself out there every day in a blog, singing in church, those are the things that require more chutzpah. And make me tremble in my boots a bit.
As I prepared the song, I knew that the times in my current life when I ask myself to be brave seem to be few and far between. And it made me feel so incredibly happy. Terrified. But happy. To make myself step out of my normal, daily stuff and try something again that used to bring me so much joy. And though it was not flawless, and it was not without hiccups, I did it. And completed a task that asked me to be brave. And it felt amazing. And knowing that feeling. That wave of accomplishment. I remembered again, that that is what being brave is really all about. It’s about that wave. And that fulfillment. And I realized that that is what I need to share with my boys. When I ask them to be brave. That it’s really about the getting through it. To judge whether you love something or hate it. To know if you’re good at it or it’s just a passion. To know what it’s like to fail. And then, to succeed, someday. Those things are why we should all be brave. Whenever we are called to be.
I want everything in the world for these three little boys of mine. I want them to know they are loved. I want to show up for them. I want to be present. I want to be a parent. I want to be an example. And a teacher. And a guidepost. And I desperately want to create in them open minds and brave hearts. And up until a few months ago, I would have stated that as for me, I was just happy to get a shower and a blog post in on one day. Because I didn’t have any time or energy to think much past that, in terms of me. But I think lately, I’ve been able to see more of me in each of my days. And singing the song in my heart, once again brought into focus one of the most important things of all… Everything I want for them, they need to see from me. Not just hear from me. See from me. If I want to see them be brave, they need to see me be brave, too. Just as much as I want to see them be brave. To see them be, they need that from me in order to know how. In order to know why.
I wanna see them be brave.
So brave, I’m going to have to be.
At least every once in awhile.