In my final post of the year, I’d love to talk about bravery.
Bravery means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
Bravery can mean putting ourselves out there, even when we feel really unsure or shaky. It can mean speaking up even when we’re not sure anyone else will agree, or understand. It can mean asking for help or support, when there are no guarantees of being met in that request.
It can mean showing the most vulnerable parts of ourselves, and risking rejection or ridicule.
It can mean battling through something major, something seen or unseen. Your battles add to your strength. They add to who you are. They make you brave.
It can mean taking big risks, with no guarantee of success.
It can mean being the first one to say something, or going out on a limb.
It can mean going against the grain, and not doing something the way you’re expected to.
It can mean saying no, and it can mean saying yes.
Usually when we’re brave, it involves an element of vulnerability. This is never comfortable, for any of us. We would rather feel sure and confident all the time, and be able to show our best side to the world. To be seen as our most sparkly, bright and easy going selves. To be seen as someone who has it all together, and who is positive and fun to be around.
But are those that have it together, all of the time, and who never allow themselves to be seen in any other state, the bravest? Are they really the strongest, or most confident? Are they really the most fun to be around? Because are they being real? Are we really seeing that person for all they’re experiencing in that moment?
In order to be authentically loved, we have to be authentically known, and none of us are perfect. None of us have it all together, 100% of the time. None of us are able to walk through life without feeling challenged, or thrown off centre from time to time.
To me, the bravest of the brave, are those that can admit this. They are those who can love and accept themselves, despite their flaws and vulnerabilities. Despite their areas of ‘weakness’.
They are those that can take responsibility for themselves, and for working through whatever comes up. But who can show themselves compassion and kindness in the process. Who realise that it’s an inside job, but who can also ask for support when they need it.
When we allow ourselves to share our struggles, we invite true connection with others. It’s not just the side we choose to present, with the side they choose to present. It’s all of what we’re experiencing, connecting with all of what they’re experiencing at any given time.
Allowing ourselves to be seen in whatever state, invites another person to allow themselves to be seen in a less than perfect way as well, and it paves the way for genuine connection and authenticity.
It also serves as a reminder that the things we perceive to be weaknesses or flaws aren’t really that at all. They’re just old energies or beliefs that we’ve got stuck in. They’re old pieces of conditioning that we’re still buying into, and using to beat ourselves up.
You are not your conditioning, and you are not your wounds. You are not these old ways of feeling or reacting.
It’s hard to love these parts of ourselves. But the truth is they’re not even really us. They’re just old energies we resonate with because of painful experiences we’ve had in the past. They’re not really who we are. It can feel so painful because we forget this, and act from this place.
It can take some time for us to shake ourselves free of these beliefs and energies, of the things that are no longer serving us.
But with bravery you can do just that. With allowing yourself to feel these things, turning towards them, and allowing yourself to share these experiences with others, you will realise that you can choose to step away now, and do things differently.
You will realise that you are not these things at all. You are something so much greater. You are the space in which all of these thoughts, emotions and reactions arise. You are the love underneath it all. The love that is waiting for you to return.
The love, wholeness and completion where nothing is ever lacking, and nothing is every wrong. Where you are perfect, just as you are. Where you are free to trust and offer love, setting yourself and others free in the process.
I hope we can all spend plenty of time here as the year draws to a close, so it can lead us back to our best and brightest selves, and to the truth of who we are, each and every time.
Wishing you the most peaceful and happy Christmas. I hope it ends the year on a cheerful note, and paves the way for a fresh and bright 2018.
With so much love and appreciation,