There are times in each of our lives that we need to be brave. Sometimes we even need to be braver than we know how to be.
Bravery, in much the same way as a puzzle, consists of many pieces that make up the ultimate picture.
Perhaps legends like Madiba and Malala are the picture of bravery. Or perhaps it looks like the single mom working double shifts to provide for her children. Maybe, bravery looks a bit like both.
Bravery is a delicate but fierce blend between the ordinary and the extraordinary. It’s where the someday meets the everyday.
The dictionary defines “brave” as:
“Showing no fear, having or showing courage or being excellent or splendid.”
This implies that we don’t need a special strand of DNA, lots of money, or a special kind of upbringing to be brave. We can choose to not be afraid and act courageously, to go about our business excellently and splendidly.
To be courageous we need to approach each aspect of our lives bravely.
The puzzle pieces
A puzzle has many pieces that look absolutely nothing like the picture on the box. It’s odd shapes with smudges of colour and no discernible pattern all jumbled together. In order for us to create our picture of bravery we need to live through the frustration of pieces that don’t seem to fit. We have to trust that each piece will eventually fit together to produce something beautiful, not only in us but also through us.
Bravery, like an assembled puzzle, doesn’t just show up one day. It grows inside of us through the many uncelebrated everyday choices.
Here are a few brave everyday choices we need to make to piece together a courageous life.
1. Choose healthy foods
Your body is the only vessel you have through which to bring your ideas and dreams to the world. If you are fuelling your body with food that make you tired and sluggish you won’t have energy to positively impact your life and the lives of others.
2. Try something different when things change
You won’t always win the first time. That’s okay, try again. There are real people out there praying for your unique solution, idea, blog or whatever is in your power to create. For their sake it’s worth navigating the curveballs and trying again.
3. Show up and be faithful…
…even when there are no cheerleaders or when you don’t feel like it.
4. Choose to forgive
There’s an old saying I love: “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” You have more spectacular things to fill up your mental and emotional space with than resentment.
Bravery in its simplest form looks like purposefully making good decisions in every area of your life and to correct course when you’ve faltered. It’s knowing that your victories over everyday issues are filling your bravery well, so that when the opportunity presents itself you will have a well so deep and rich to draw from that the only thing that can come out is a mighty brave roar.