Being brave isn’t always pretty

‘At any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.’ ∼ Abraham Maslow

Friends tell me how brave I am to be facing my demons head on and not running away from them, but the way I see it I have no choice, I have to go onward. I have to believe in the process, believe that I will get though this and eventually come out the other side, the only other option I see is giving up. I have come so far in the darkness that I cannot turn around, I would never find my way back, and I don’t want to go back, that was the life that broke me.

However lost I feel in the darkness I also see amazing lights that have never been there before. New ones light up daily and illuminate my untrodden path. These insights are wonderful and make my journey so beautiful, but once opened, I can never close my eyes to this new way of experiencing the world. This is both a blessing and a torment, sometimes I feel envious of those who have not started to question themselves with all their complexities.

‘The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to it’s original dimensions.’
∼ Oliver Wendell Holmes.

My path of bravery however is seldom pretty. Most of the time these days I am certain about the next step I need to take, but almost without fail the small child in me sits on that step and throws a tantrum. She hauls back into place all the strategies she knows of to numb out and tries desperately to avoid the pain and when that fails she cries like a kid who can’t get her own way. At these times doubt and fear keep me close company, it’s claustrophobic. After a while though I find I can pick myself up again, dust myself off and give those demons another run for their money.

I’ve felt ashamed about my messy tantrums, far from the bravery my friends must imagine, but now I realise is all perfectly ok. That little girl inside me is throwing her tantrum because it’s painful. She is scared – for real. She is still hurting – loads. Thats why I’m here with her now facing that past. In that past that little girl was so hurt and broken and with her child’s mind she couldn’t process those pains inflicted on her. Now as an adult I can help her to do that. So that messy, sit on the step, throwing a tantrum is the bravest thing I can allow me to do.

‘Bravery is not the absence of fear but doing something anyway despite great fear’.


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