I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
- Nelson Mandela
Bravery involves more than just facing your fears; it involves a great deal of mental strength.
Recently, after talking with a co-worker about my recovery from my skin condition, she told me I was brave to show up to work everyday. This took me by surprise because I never considered myself to be brave.
As you may already know, I have been suffering for years with what was supposedly eczema. After seeing a naturopath, I have since improved and almost fully recovered in the last few months. However, the road to recovery is never easy.
In order to allow ourselves to heal, we need to be vulnerable. This, in turn, requires a great deal of courage and strength, and could even test our willingness to continue. Throughout my journey, I tried to keep in mind that what I was doing was worth it, and that my future self would thank me for it. However, my doubts were always in the back of my head, telling me to give in and reminding me of my imperfections.
Everyday, during the time that my skin was at its worst, I would go into work. I would hear the comments and try not to take them to heart. I would avoid looking at myself in the mirror. I would avoid seeing my loved ones in order not to hear comments about their concern for me. I wanted to shut myself off from everyone.
However. we must continue showing up for ourselves and those around us. Regardless of our hardships and our outward appearance, we still remain who we are. You still remain a beautiful-minded individual during your hardship and after it is gone. You are still worthy of your own love and the love of others, and you need to be brave enough to believe that.
This is just one example of how bravery could come from the small things in life. We do not have to face our fear of heights and parachute out of an airplane. We do not have to go to a haunted house just to say we are brave. Life tests us on a daily basis and it is important that we rise above our situation and choose to be brave.
Fear is often associated with hiding away from one's problems, so bravery entails that we face them head on. We are all fighting our own battles, whether they be on the surface or inside of our own selves. If we let our situations get the best of us, we are doing a great disservice to ourselves.
It is inevitable that we will face adversity in our lives. Although we may not be able to change our circumstances, we can change how we think about them. This is not to say we should push away negative emotions entirely. However, we can feel them, acknowledge them, then let them go. We must be brave enough to not let a negative emotion or bad situation get in the way of living our lives.
At the end of the day. we are more than what we are going through, and we are brave enough to face any problem that comes our way if we choose to believe in ourselves.