Yes to being Brave

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“We have to say yes. Even when it’s scary or costly or unknown. We don’t screw up by saying yes to the wrong things; we screw up by letting all the floats in the parade pass us by and never jumping on one of them for a ride to the end.” – Let’s All Be Brave (Annie Downs)

 

“Yes.” It is a word with so much power. It can change the course of your life. It can provide new opportunities. It can make you more of a positive person. Granted, being too much of a “yes” person can also wear you down…but I want to focus on the positive.

When I look back on my life, I am thankful for the times I said, “yes.” Throughout my young life, I learned that saying yes would lead me down a path of a life better than I could have imagined. “Yes” built a foundation to pursue dreams and opportunities that should have been impossible for a girl from my neighborhood. I learned quickly that I not only needed to say “yes” to opportunities that came my way, but also I had to say “yes” to hard work. “Yes” has given me the courage to take jumps into the unknown over and over again. Without “yes” I might not be experiencing so many full-circle moments.

As hurts and disappointments have come along in my life, “yes” gets harder. The temptation to shrink away from “jumping on the float” or staying on the float until the end can be great. Sometimes it seems safer to stay on the street and watch the parade pass me by. Or to jump off one float to get on a safer float.

I desire to have people to think of me as brave. I want to have the bravery to have faith that even the times of “unknown” are times of preparation. I’m learning that it takes great amounts of courage to stay in the preparation time instead of jumping off and taking a safer path. It takes bravery to understand that you have a purpose on this earth that your uniqueness is perfectly suited for.

Each day, we all make choices to be brave. Some big. Some small. The small yeses lead to bigger ones.

What do you need to have an extra dose of bravery for today?

Power of Story

We have the power to use our own stories and lives to build bridges across the divisive gaps in our culture. —Nish Weiseth (Speak)

I am a great listener. I love to hear about people, listen to their stories, and get to know what makes them tick. I struggle being on the other end of the conversation. I don’t give up my story easily. There are parts of my stories that only the people who were a part of that time know about. I just chalk it up to being an introvert and not feeling like everything has to be relevant to who I am. If I am really honest, there are just things that I don’t want to be a part of my present and so I leave them buried in the past. I don’t want to use parts of my story to build “my platform” or be things that I am known for. There is my confession for the day.

I have observed the power of story… both good and bad. I have seen stories tear people apart and divide our culture. This is the danger of using your story to “out” someone else or ruin their reputation. There are times when it’s okay to let people know you were done wrong without saying who or what the offender was. Sometimes it is obvious who the offender was or it is so deeply a part of your story that there is no way around that, but I believe we need to tread so carefully when telling these stories because our culture latches onto the scandalous and loves to see it spread like wildfire.

I recently read “Speak” by Nish Weiseth and she does a beautiful job of showing the power of positive storytelling. I do love the fact that we are each given unique stories, and talents to make a change in the world around us…. whether that is across the street or around the world. I was encouraged to read that if we can just take the time to listen to someone’s story, we can break down the things the walls that separate us and focus on common ground. I want to be a person who sees the good of story. I want to see the encouragement that can come from stories being told. I want to see how story can make a positive impact on lives .