What do you think of when you think the word ‘Brave’?
Do you think of knights or warriors or heroes in capes?
Or do you think of everyday people of all sizes and all shapes?
Brave is waking up each morning, willing to face the challenges of the day.
It is looking your problems in the face, but never backing down.
It is letting a smile sneak through when all your heart can do is frown.
Brave is walking through a valley of fear and doubt and pain.
It is silencing all of the ‘what if’s” smacking around inside your brain.
And somehow calming the restless and anxious soul and letting a racing mind unwind.
Brave is showing up to the doctor’s appointment
Even though you are afraid of what they might find.
It is learning to leave the demons of your past behind.
Brave is taking a deep breath in… and letting it out again.
Brave is admitting when you need help, that you can’t do it on your own.
It is making it through the night when it’s dark and you’re all alone.
Brave is smiling through the tears that are streaming down your face.
And cracking jokes in hospital rooms to ease your loved one’s fear.
Brave is accepting words of help, even when it’s not what you want to hear.
Brave is pulling yourself back up to standing, after you’ve taken your hundredth fall.
It is not beating yourself up for the times you showed your pain.
Brave does not mean that you are not scared, that your heart does not race,
and your hands don’t shake, they do.
Brave is feeling all of the fear and stepping forward anyways.
Brave is one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.
Brave is being patient for the change you need, trusting that the stars will align.
Brave can look at you with fear in her eyes, a quiver in her voice.
Brave can break down and be a monstrous mess
But brave knows that eventually, life will coalesce.
Brave is the woman at the clinic, or the man who limps slowly down the street.
Brave is the family in the waiting room, or the patient in the bed.
Brave is the battles we have won in the past, and the ones that lay ahead.
Brave is falling into bed after a hellish kind of day.
And telling yourself that even though it was so hard, it’s going to be ok.
Braving is reminding yourself that tomorrow is a brand new day.
Brave doesn’t always shock and awe.
Brave can be quite simple and quite small.
And sometimes those little tiny steps are the bravest of them all.