How different would things be if I approached each situation, each person, with bravery?
That's the question that scratched away at my heart and made me choose brave as my OneWord365. I really wrestled with committing to a word like that, for—well—lots of reasons.
At least for me, brave is a big, scary, monstrous word. I have never felt brave. Ever. It's not a word I would ever use to describe myself. I've done brave things at times, sure. I've taken some risks. I've made some choices others have deemed courageous. But deep down, I would never categorize myself as a brave person.
But I want to.
I want to be someone who's life is marked by bravery.
Don't hear me wrong... I don't want to be known for living an adventurous life. I'm not trying to be edgy, or reckless, or thrill-seeking.
I don't want to do brave things. I want to be brave.
And, I'm discovering, there's a big difference.
It's more about the posture of my heart than about my actions. It's about changing my internal dialogue—the words I say to myself, about myself. It's a willingness to lean into who I really am... and live it out wholeheartedly.
Six full months into the year, I paused to take stock. And I have to admit—I'm a little surprised by all the ways I've seen bravery come to bear in my life so far this year. It's probably not been in ways that others might expect (or that they'd even call brave), but it's usually the smallest steps of bravery which are the most difficult. For me, anyway.
I've opened my heart to possibilities. I've let myself enjoy the present without knowing what the future holds. I've let my guard down. I've let others in. I've leaned into relationships. I've used my words more. I've embraced hard truths. I've taken steps towards healthier boundaries. I've put myself first in areas I'd always put myself last. I've started going to church again. I've stuck my neck out work-wise. I've resumed regular writing commitments. I've made big financial decisions. I've intentionally dug into enjoying my now-life. I've faced a huge loss and didn't fall apart like I once thought I would.
I don't expect to feel like I've crossed some huge finish line in December, having arrived-at-last at being brave. But I do sense that I am already becoming brave. And that is what I want to feel every day for the rest of my life.
The process of becoming holds more value than the being, and I don't want to lose the wonder and vulnerability of the journey.
So I take a deep breath, and I close my eyes, and I ask for an extra dose of courage for everyone and everything I will face.
And I choose to become braver today than I was yesterday...
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I'd love to hear about your OneWord365 journey at this halfway point. If you blog about it, please share the link. Otherwise, would you share a few thoughts in the comments?