A Hero’s Challenge (The New Brave)

 

I was speaking with a co-worker the other day about bravery and I made the comment to her that she was an actualized warrior. Her response was that we all are. She then reminded me of a concept that I had long forgotten. She said: “When you come to a wave that challenges you the most if you turn away from it you will be sure to capsize and topple over. The only way to affectively get through to the other side is to push through directly.” What a great reminder. The only way through is through. I needed to hear it because I am coming into the next stage of my journey and most likely a new chapter of my life. I will be twenty-seven years old in one week. As the time approaches I ask myself what are the most important things that I am taking from life? I also wonder what I want to leave behind. I envision certain concepts. The concepts that matter the most are love, hope, and action, but the most importantly as of late, bravery.

This is because; at this stage in my life I am certain that we are all heroes. It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. The greatest gift that I can offer the world today is I. In other words, my authentic self and it takes a ton of bravery to do that. For instance, I was watching television the other morning and I noticed that Amber Riley, recent Dancing with the Stars champion was being interviewed. She is the first African American woman to take the win in the show’s history. When asked what inspired her to take on the challenge of competing on the show. Her response was: “I decided to participate because the thought of competing on the show petrified me, and I try to do the things that frighten me the most.” 

Her logic is a process that I can identify with on a deep soul level. Like Riley, I am learning to run towards the things that I fear the most. That’s what bravery is. But I’m not talking about jumping of cliffs or pushing a person from in front of a moving bus. That’s brave too, but that’s not the brave that I’m referring too. The type of brave that I’m referring to is new. It’s simple, but it holds a powerful impact. I’m referring to doing the things I fear the most. For me this looks like dating a man, marrying him, and producing his children. It freaks me out! There are other things as well, but I won’t mention them here.  For someone else it may be speaking up and advocating for their self when they feel uncomfortable or in conflict. It varies from person to person, but everyone knows what makes them brave.

The thing is, at least for me. Bravery is not isolated to one person and one experience. Everyone is a hero, and tells the story of bravery in their own way. For Amber Riley it came in the form of showing up for Dancing with the Stars, winning, and ultimately showing women of color and also as well as size, that being limited by those factors is a choice not a requirement. But for me or for you who knows what our bravery can do. What I’ve learned is that the hero’s ultimate challenge is deciding to be the hero. I hope it doesn’t take another twenty-seven years for me to step into that truth because there is a whole world out there anticipating what the next heroic action will be and I intend to face it head on so that I won’t topple over.  Thanks for stopping by. Let’s talk again soon.

 

 Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Mandela