We think Hero. Maybe soldier. Courageous. Strong. So we probably don’t think of ourselves as brave. Especially these days. Hunkered down at home. Leary of getting too close to others in the store. Nervously watching the news. Nah, not a bit brave.
But if you haven’t yet noticed it’s not simple being a person. An authentic human being. True to self. Genuine with others. Not undone by hardship. But not an unfeeling machine. It’s complex. Not easy. It takes courage. And bravery.
Last week I referred to Brene’ Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness. In it she talks about getting to know other people close up rather than making assumptions about them from a distance. And she talks about remaining civil and respectful even when you point out the garbage someone is spreading. The closing chapter of the book describes having a strong back, a soft front and a wild heart. She borrowed it from someone else but worked it into her summons to live with BRAVING.*
To have a strong back, we need to know who we are and what we stand for. Having a soft front is being vulnerable and compassionate with others. And that wild heart beats to the rhythm of paradox: tough and tender, excited and afraid, true to self and fiercely engaged with others. To walk through this world with a strong back, a soft front, and a wild heart takes tons of courage. And commitment to being the most authentic person we can be. God only created one of each of us after all!
So we all need to be brave, especially these days and especially with love. We’ll put more of it together next week but for now here’s to BRAVING courageously!
Boundaries = respecting what’s ok and not ok in relating to others, asking if it’s not clear
Reliability = knowing your abilities and limitations so you follow through on what you promise
Accountability = owning your mistakes, apologizing, and making it right
Vault = keeping confidences, not sharing information or experiences that are not yours to share
Integrity = choosing courage over comfort, what’s right over what’s easy and living your values
Nonjudgment = being free to ask for what we need and to talk about how we feel without fear
Generosity = extending grace in your interpretation of others’ intentions, words and actions