Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Decision: Be Brave

Are you brave? What does "being brave" mean to you? How would you define "Brave?" Is it ...
  • Standing strong when things come at you that you aren't expecting?
  • Maintaining your composure when fear is the obvious choice and all you want to do is run away or "go south" and give up?
  • Believing in yourself when everything around you suggests you take an alternate perspective?
  • Refusing to give up something you believe in or hope for or dream of doing?
Disney made a movie with the title. Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban, and Idina Menzel have all created beautiful songs on the subject. "Brave." That idea seems to be receiving a great deal of attention. I find that's important to me. Being Brave. It applies to being brave and comfortable with the 47 year old woman that I am today. Being Brave when it comes to trusting my children and their choices. Being Brave when it comes to pulling out of my driveway and not knowing who might be on the road with me. Being Brave when I stand on the stage alone and have lines to say that I hope I remember. Being Brave as I make decisions, avoiding fears, doubts, undermining questions and regrets that try to worm their way inside my protective coating.

Funny, when tempted to let fear win out and give up this past week, I realized that I have those three songs on my iPod. As a person who believes in Nudges of the Spirit, I did not see this as a coincidence. But as a message. The words of Sara Bareilles ... a song that literally chose me from iTunes one day ... sent a message loud and clear.

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave


25 years ago I was Brave. I wrote a play. That in itself was Brave. But this Play had a sensitive subject matter. But then, after sharing it with One person, I buried it. Yeah, I know. Not so Brave.  For 25 years, it remained hidden in a dark folder. Then one day, it was discovered.

Perhaps, like Tolkein's Ring in the Lord of the Rings series, it wanted to be discovered at that point in time. Perhaps, it had a story inside its dusty pages that chose to be told at long last. Who knows. But, when it came into the light, it refused to be ignored.

So, the time had come for me to be Brave. I wrote the story. I needed to share the story. Tell the story to others. I needed to stage the play. So, I said yes to the challenge. Yes to the audition. And yes to getting the story told.

Auditions happened and no one came. Can I admit to a surge of doubt? For a moment there was a flicker that questioned if perhaps the story shouldn't be told ... No, with a little help from a friend or two, I chose to brush the fear and doubt aside. I chose to ask a different question and decided to be Brave. I had people who had shown interest. I reached out. I asked. And they said yes. A breath of relief went thru me at that moment. Finally the story would be told.

Another hurdle. One yes. Another no. Another moment of doubt. But then ... someone else chose to be Brave along with me. Someone unexpected. But, because I don't believe in coincidence, the right person after all. Rehearsals finally began. And after 25 years, I heard the words I wrote spoken aloud for the very first time.

Oh, it wasn't the true first time. There was another time when these words had life. When the characters breathed real air. But then that's another story. And I'm not brave enough to tell that one yet.

But for now. I'm Brave enough ....

                                                                                                                                      -- Jenni