Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Act of Being Brave

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This past Saturday, I was visiting with my Granny who is back at home after a month at a nursing home.  She needed a "sabbatical" to get her strength back after a few setbacks.  First, I don't know if you can truly appreciate this story unless you have spent time with her.  Bottom line...she is a corker.  Second, it should be noted that she is 90 years old, but let me just say...a number is just a number...nothing more, nothing less.  Third, she was having serious issues of being able to simply walk or get out of bed...so she needed a sabbatical (i.e., concentrated physical therapy), but she was also "down" emotionally...she needed a shot in the arm...a miracle.

So I asked her, "Overall, what did you think about it Granny?" To which she replied completely dead pan, "I decided as soon as I got there that I wasn't going to be like those people."  By "those people" she meant physically sick.  I fell out in the floor laughing...and then hugging her..."I expected nothing else from you Granny." Bless her heart.  I mean seriously...bless her heart.

Later in the day, I was relaying the conversation with my father and we both came to the conclusion that just being in the nursing home with "those people" and seeing the ailments that others were struggling with....most far worse than her own while some less than her own...that just the experience of seeing that healed her far more than the physical therapy ever could have...

Hmmm...

The human mind...

Attitude...our very own attitude...

The trap that is our minds.

I smiled and cried a little as we talked about it because in a strange way (and a small way no doubt), I completely understand what Granny was going through both before, during, and after this experience.  It is SO easy for us to get caught up in our own heads and our own little worlds and believe that the world is caving in...no one understands...it's over.

Haven't we all been there at one or another or anothers...:))

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My Granny is one of the toughest nuts I have ever known...in all of the good ways and the more "human" ways.  She has lived an unbelievable life full of highs and lows.  She is a trooper of the highest order.  She is pink and fluffy like cotton candy.  She is also strong and unbendable like an Ozark oak.

In a word...a new word I would use for her...she is brave.

If I am brave, a good chunk of it comes from my lineage up through her...I also though, see some of the flaws in that bravery, and I find myself learning lessons in watching her that both inspire and cause me pause. 

As I sit here today, there is no doubt that I am pulling from that line of bravery every single day as I face new challenges, paths, opportunities, and dreams.  In fact, as I lay in bed when I wake each morning, I pause now to look out into the beautiful trees and morning sky and say to myself, "Today...be brave."...bravery is my new mantra...so to speak. :)

On the other side, I am working just as hard NOT to get lost in my own head...there is a WHOLE world out there that needs me, and I need it.  My world doesn't begin and end at my office door, my front door, the survey line on my land in the holler, or at the edge of my heart.  My world is as big as I let into my world...as big as I am brave enough to embrace.

Big. Pause. Here.

*Sigh*

Someone I trust explicitly told me Saturday night that I was not "putting myself out there"....and while part of me wanted to lay out the massive evidence to the contrary...I knew exactly what they meant (and the aha is...it isn't about what you naturally think).  You can be a part of this great big world and still not be a PART of this great big world.  As the great line in The Quiet Man* goes, "The only bars between me and you Mary Kate will be the ones in your heart." *Ouch*

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How brave are you???

Really.

If you saw me or met me, you would probably walk away thinking I was a brave person...and I am (spoken at nearly a whisper)...but I am not as brave, at times, as others perceive me to be....and when I am brave, truly brave, it is because that morning (or moment) I got on my knees in prayer, pulled myself up by my boot straps, and did an internal Woo Hoo cheerleading chant...it is NOT because I woke up going, "I am here to save the DAY!" (imagine building crescendo while I say that :))

Being brave is about opening your heart...at work, at home...In. Your. Life.  It is about busting down the walls of fear and regret, and moving forward...in faith, in love, in hope, in humility...and bringing all that you are and all that you have to Every. Single. Day.

My Granny spent the last month gaining back her physical strength, but she also got a good old fashioned shot of bravery.  Her lesson has taught me a lesson. 

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Be brave.  Remember...sometimes bravery doesn't come behind a wall (or a computer ;))...sometimes bravery comes from stepping out naked and new like a baby, unsure, scared, tapping into your inner, "I can do this!"

Be brave. You will be glad you did. :)))

*Let it be noted that the quote from The Quiet Man is paraphrased...not exact. :)

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)