I recently learned that the absolute bravest person I know in this whole world is really no braver than I am. This was an astounding realization that sort of shook up what I "knew" in this world to be true. Well, I guess it didn't change the course of my entire life, but you know what I mean.
I am not going to go into the specifics here, but this has been a bit of a game changer inside of me. I have always known this person to defy what others thought and did what they really wanted to do. Unlike myself, who was frequently bound by the thoughts, desires and my own assumptions of what others expect of me. I follow too damn many rules, ya know?
This person, it turns out, did many things because they were filling a role that their significant other wanted them to play. OR more precisely the role that they assumed that this other person wanted them to play. So bravery? Yes to a degree, but more accurately, they were changing what they were and doing things that really their authentic self didn't necessarily feel was right.
I have been guilty of such actions myself. I have, in the past, assumed someone who matters wants me to be one way or the other.... and I have tried to become more "right". Fortunately, I have also found this to have absolutely no basis in reality and is not worth the time and effort. The people who really matter don't want you to change for them, for the most part. Well, they probably can think of a few annoying things they wish you wouldn't do, but overall, the essence of you is what they value.
I am in a state of figuring out what my essence is. The essence that is right for me and not what someone else thinks I should be. I am not a "loser" (weight loser), I am not just a vegetarian- I eat food, and really what the food is should not be of consequence. I am not just a mother or grandmother or teacher or anything else that implies a role, even though those are roles I am willing to accept - I am just me. And the way I am inside needs to be good enough. The revelation of this supposed brave role model of mine has reminded me that things are not always as they seem. That whole walk a mile in someone else's shoes speaks volumes.
The last year has been interesting in regards to my health and happiness- I have had Lyme's disease, my gym closed and then I, as you well know, broke my stupid elbows. I have had a bit of a Renaissance. I am looking at things in a different way than I have before. I am attempting to not wait until the "right time" to do things that I really want to do. One of those things is coming up here very shortly and I will be sharing soon. I am in charge of my own path in life and I realize that what I do won't always have obvious reasons behind them, but that is not something everyone will be privileged to know.
So, I want you to know that the revelation regarding this person does not actually change my opinion of them in any way. I actually still regard them as one of my bravery role models, because of what ever the intention was- they still did some pretty amazing things. Even if they would never do any of those things again! It makes them memorable and full of awesome. And I really do want to be just like them when I grow up and get brave myself. Which I think I kind of am. And I like it.
Go forth and be a brave joy giver! And do it with passion.