Find your brave

I edited my first post 16 [maybe 20] times. I'd read it in the morning, when my brain feels most awake and purposeful, and then again at night, when I sort of shut down and can sometimes be cranky.  I wanted to know how the words felt depending on the time of day.

Did it all flow and make sense?  Would my words lift up and encourage? Was it too much about me and not enough about you?  I asked myself these questions and about a thousand more each time I read through my words.

I waited nearly 2 weeks before hitting the "publish" button.

Each day I'd think: today.  Today will be the day I'll finally do it and each day that arrow would glide, ever so gracefully over the "publish" button, and land safely and comfortably on "save draft".

You see, the writers I love [and strive to be] look you in the eye, pull you in real close, and give you an honest answer when asked, "How are you?" They invite you in, amidst the mess and regret; amidst the piled dishes in the sink.

They write, even when life seems incredibly ordinary and simple and planned, because deep down they choose to fight for gratitude and significance in the routine.

They admit when they've messed up. They give people and stories the attention they deserve.

A voice like this is raw, against all odds.  I love that kind of voice.

So when I finally hit that dreadful publish button, it didn't come easy for me.  I prayed a good, long prayer before ever considering sharing my words. And after I did, I felt somewhere between flu-like symptoms [you know, like, nausea, sweaty, dizzy] and relief, like I could finally breathe again.

Like this thing I was holding on too so tightly, trying to control and make perfect, had finally been let go and was free.

This simple act, a simple [terrifying] push of a button was my brave.

And the sweetest thing is that my brave might look different than yours.

Your brave might be signing up for that yoga class even when touching your toes is a challenge [amen friend, it's tough for me too] or bundling up, strapping on your dusty sneakers and going for a walk or jog.

Your brave might be letting go of certain relationships, ones that leave you feeling thirsty and empty, ones that aren't truly life-giving or love-producing, even when it's easier and sometimes more comfortable just to stay in the mess of it all.  Though I have to believe when we let go of the unhealthy we make space for folks who want to cheer us on, fight for us, walk with us through the pain, hand in hand.

Your brave might be praying out loud for the first time, asking for help, being the first one to say "I'm sorry".

Your brave might be applying for a job, even when you feel completely under qualified.   Or leaving a job you might be really good at and people expect you to stay in, but deep down you know there are things waiting for you to try and build and create // things that may or may not have anything to do with what people expect.

I realize it's not always easy to do these things.  Life circumstance, relationships, and responsibilities can often hinder us from being brave.

Though when we refuse to hit the publish button over and over again, when we refuse to unclench our fists, I think deep down, at least for me, it stems from more than just being afraid, it stems from a lack of trust // a lack of trusting God and myself.

Whatever your brave might be, try it, just a little today.  It doesn't have to be earth-shattering, jumping-out-of-a-plane brave.  It doesn't have to be something you share with the world.

Let it be something that feels tough and just a little uncomfortable at first // something that makes you sweat a little.

Because I believe when we find our brave, as little as it might be, our heart and soul bursts open and we're left with the most honest, raw, best version of ourself.  And then the big things, the things that might flip our whole world upside down in the best possible way, wont be so hard to do.

I believe your brave matters and counts.

I believe it's a story worth sharing.

What does that look like today, this week, or this year?  I'd love to know.  And, equally important, how can we support others with their brave?

p.s. I recommend turning this up high, way high, and dancing with all you got - you brave little thing you.