On Being Brave

I lay in bed thinking last night. I was unable to sleep even if every muscle in my body felt exhausted, my brain still wouldn’t shut off. I thought about last year and how writing had become an important part of my life. How I regularly felt words bubbling up inside of me asking to be put down and shared, and then I wondered where that feeling had gone?

It’s been 3 months since I’ve really intentionally written. I’ve jotted down thoughts here and there, I’ve started to brainstorm some blog posts, but nothing really took root. I also happened to be in New Zealand for the majority of January and February, and while the idea of writing during my trip seemed nice, I knew the reality was that I wanted to live my trip and write about it later.

So now it’s a lot later, and I’ve concluded that what is holding me back from starting to write again is what holds me back in a lot of areas of my life:

fear.

It’s a very specific fear. The fear of being vulnerable, of letting people in. The fear of exposing what I think and feel and desire from this life and then having people leave. Having them intentionally choose to walk away, making me consider whether my thoughts, feelings , and desires were maybe just not enough? Or having them unintentionally leave, stolen away by circumstances, distance, or death, which leaves me to brood over why we ever open ourselves up to people in the first place.

If people aren’t going to be there to sit with us in all the mess of life, until the very end, what’s the point?

At the beginning of 2019 I felt a shift in my season. For a really long time I felt like I was plowing through the dark with no purpose. It was a long night filled with some pretty real nightmares. The kind of night that felt all consuming. I was sitting in the dark night season for close to 5 years, if not longer, and I never thought it would end until finally it did.

The dawn broke.

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The light crept in and in the quiet, the peace before a new day started; I watched the sky turn dusky purple. In the soft light I opened my eyes and I saw that the darkness wasn’t actually as big and scary as it felt when I couldn’t see. But in my uncertainty and blindness I’d made a mess. My panic, my doubt, my grief had led me to create barriers that now surrounded me.

When dawn broke I realized that I was surrounded, but with the darkness gone I could also see what needed to be taken down. There is still time, and work to be done before the day breaks, but in this season of dawn there is hope.

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I’m starting by taking down the barrier of the fear of being vulnerable. It rears its ugly head, and when I see it for what it truly is it makes me even more afraid. I’ve been sitting with it for a while now though, 3 months to be exact. Now that it has a name it’s still daunting but I know it needs to go, and the light helps me see its weakness, so I know where to strike.

I’m trusting that even if I get hurt my life is worth sharing. I’m believing there is more good in letting people in and in being authentic. Even if people choose to leave, or unintentionally drift away, I am remembering that each person that sees the real me has the opportunity to impact my life, and it’s in the impact that growth happens.

I think we all know growth is really hard but extremely important.

So even if my mom and dad are the only ones who ever read this. Even if I invest time and energy into loving and being kind and authentic with everyone I meet only to have them not do the same, I’m believing that it’s worth it.

Investing in community, in family, in those around us is hard, and sometimes sad, but we’re not called to passively sit this life by, we’re called to do hard things, to be brave. I’m breaking down one of my many barriers, believing that when this season of dawn ends the hard work I put in will mean I can freely run and seize everything the day has for me.

-Victoria

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