Thursday, August 31, 2017

The eyes have it.

"Bravery isn't the absence of fear. Brave is what you are when you're staring fear in the face."

I once had a coworker not like me.
Shocking, I know.
She didn't like me on -what I would describe as - epic proportions. She would speak to everyone in a staff meeting except me, she rejected my attempts to smooth things over - even when I brought her a bouquet of flowers - and never, ever once looked me in the eye. To this day I have no idea what her beef was but I know it was intentional.
Why? Why did coworker refuse to look at me or speak to me?
Was she icing me out for the fun of it?
Or could something else have been going her...that *really* didnt have anything to do with me?

I'll never know but her behavior certainly reminds of this idea of bravery.
Was it brave to hide her face from me?
Or is bravery finding ways to deal with difficult situations?

All I know is how I feel, and when I feel brave my head is up, my posture is tall and I look that thing head on .... when I'm feeling fearful my body reflects it; I shrink a little, I try not to be seen, I divert my eyes.

Being brave then, isn't the absence of feeling the fear, it is facing it and looking it straight in the eyes.

Think about it, see someone you're afraid to have an interaction with at the store? You don't walk right up to them and face them! No you go hide in the pet food aisle and pray they don't have a hungry dog or cat at home.

Someone compliments your hair or your outfit? For some of us it's scary to be seen/judged/believe we look good so we might mumble a thanks and ... what? Look away.

And it's not always with people that we must be brave.
Situations and seasons and moments and days and jobs and doctor visits are all opportunities.
We must practice lifting our chin
turning our face and
raise our eyes toward that hard thing.
Because THAT is bravery.

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