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Today, bravery looks like being “Fearless”

“Fearless.”  It’s one of those words that just by speaking it makes me feel like anything is possible. And as someone who spends a lot of time thinking about bravery, the word “Fearless” has become a part of my vocabulary in a way I could not have imagined.

I introduced this blog by talking about my discomfort with being told that making my own leap of faith was brave; that bravery was a concept I associated with first responders, firefighters and those fighting battles with illness. Today I am going to revert back to that first interpretation and talk about my friend Angel, and anyone else that is fighting the battle of their lives.  Today, I am writing for the “Brave Ones.”

I got Angel’s news through Facebook, a breathtaking recounting of her visit to her doctor after feeling pain under her arm. She had written it off to an infection, but it wasn’t; it was the worst news instead. She is facing a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy in the coming days. Today, with a lot of miserable moments in front of her, Angel is the bravest person I know.

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. ” — Rabindranath Tagore

I know there are others who are fighting their own battles.. like chronic depression, pain or anxiety. Losing a loved one, the end of a relationship, a job loss. These are each debilitating hurdles that could make just getting out of bed in the morning an almost insurmountable task. But many get up and get moving anyway.

How many of us could be that strong?

When I ask the “Braves Ones” where their fearlessness comes from, I hear:

  • My faith,
  • Support of friends and family,
  • To show others that if I could do it, they could, too,
  • Because I had to, and
  • I was not going to let my problems get in the way of living my life.

Whatever the reason, their forging forward despite their burdens is a powerful lesson for the rest of us. And makes me hopeful.

While we can’t choose our fears, I think we CAN choose how we manage ourselves through the hardest moments (at least most of the time). That choice is a game-changer, an opportunity to take back our lives with courage. Those of us that can embrace our fears, our worst fears, and “Do it anyway,” model what “Fearless” looks like for the rest of us.

Angel would want me to close with a reminder to the women-folk to get your mammograms done.  Considering how miserable a process that is, it might require a level of fearlessness on your part just to take that task on.  But get on it anyway.

As always, I welcome your stories of bravery, in the face of fear, or otherwise. Your contribution will make a difference in our “Brave community”.

Be brave. “Do it anyway.” Be fearless.