Honest

Oh! The Places You’ll Go When Brave

Ana Gabriel

I sit here sipping my latte, and thinking.

Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is bravery. Many of us visualize this man in armor yielding some rare sword, or as 98% of the fame population would classify him “prince charming”. Maybe you’re that young woman who when I say “Brave” you think of Merida, who I tend to connect with, she is free spirited, stubborn and wild, the essence of a free woman.

In that spirit, let me pose a question here: What would happen to society if we started to view ourselves at the brave ones? I know you may think, “Me? Brave? That’s impossible…”

I once thought this way. It affected my every being – the way I walked, talked and acted, and more than anything, it affected the way people perceived me.

Allow me to be completely open here about my own struggle with viewing myself as brave. A few months ago, I found myself struggling with the pain and grief that walks alongside miscarriage. Additionally, I was pushed into facing it alone. In the months that preceded this situation, I found strength and freedom because I began to see myself as brave. Yes at times it seemed like the world within itself was going to collapse around me, and there was more than a few times I cried myself to sleep thinking I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow, but I woke up anyway.

One thing during this situation is that you can’t start to change the way you view yourself, if you’re hanging around people who won’t push you to view yourself positively. I went off the grid for two months and during those two months I severed lots of ties with people, including those who didn’t want to help, encourage, or uplift. It wasn’t easy, but looking back now I think my greatest advice is to keep a few great friends. When they tell you harsh truths, learn to listen for the love. Growth is necessary and annoying at times, but look and you will always find the silver lining.

Bravery within itself isn’t a moment in time, it’s a cumulation of moments. Dare I say it; bravery is a lifestyle. How different would the world be if women started seeing themselves as brave?

Something that brought comfort through the months that preceded was a line from Dr. Seuss’ book “Oh, the places you’ll go…” It was a gift from my family when I graduated and the book that I read to Baby B every night. It reads the following:

 “All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot. And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

 But on you will go, though the weather be foul. On you will go, though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many

a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore, and your sneakers may leak.

 On and on you will hike, and I know you’ll hike far, and face up to your problems

whatever they are.

 You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

 And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

 KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!…”

I draw so much inspiration from this excerpt because it states that even though you will face those hard times (times you view yourself as weak, and unworthy) you will get through it, you will go on and move mountains,as Dr. Seuss puts it. Don’t be scared to take a step forward when everything around you seems to be crumbling.

Think back over the past year, think about what you have been through, think about the times when you wouldn’t make it through, and then write them down! Once that is done, repeat after me “I am brave, I AM brave, and I am enough.”

 You feel awesome don’t you?

– image credit: Ana Gabriel

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  • Alisa

    I recently rediscovered this book and read it to my daughter. She gave me more than a few strange looks as I wept through it. Bravery. It requires vulnerability which feels a little backwards. But the brave always have to face their own weaknesses before they can see success.