When I'm not in a productive kind of mood, I get my roam on around Instagram. Yesterday was definitely one of those days and I found myself scrolling the time away. It wasn't until I came across this short + sweet quote that my mind got to thinking:
"She who is brave is free."
It wasn't like I hadn't seen this somewhere on Pinterest before. But for some reason, these words made me stop, ponder + dig a little deeper. I was curious to know what it actually means to be brave, and found this simple yet powerful definition:
Brave: ready to face + endure danger or pain; showing courage instead of fear.
After reading this, I wondered if there's any way to live life totally liberated from fear. I don't know if living a fearless life is completely possible, but fearing less is.
I always thought being brave meant never being afraid of anything. But if you're human, you know this is far from the truth. Fear is just a lie. And if you're like me, there are times--more often than you'd like--when you believe the lies that try to rise up when you're facing the uncomfortable or unpredictable. Whether or not we're aware of it, there's fears that try to rule our thoughts, our actions + our perceptions of the world on the daily.
In my case, there's those stupid you're-not-good-enough lies that make me feel ugly + unattractive when I look at myself in the mirror. Or there's those dumb ugh-you're-sooo-frickin'-fat lies that make me feel insecure about my dimpled-thighs or belly pudge. (Is it just me, or does anyone else's thighs or stomach look gargantuan when you look down at them verses when you look in the mirror?) And then there's the pesky you're-not-capable lies that make me feel inadequate, like I don't have the smarts to handle the things I've been entrusted with on my job or in my marriage.
But after reading this definition, I see that bravery is more about roundhouse-kicking fear in the face + less about the absence of fear itself. We often want to go up, over, under + around trials + difficult circumstances. But the only way to overcome them is to press through them.
To be brave isn't to be some sort of superhero, but more of a daredevil, someone who's crazy enough to push past the scary.
It's telling the voices in our heads to shut up + pressing forward, daring to prove 'em wrong. And it's this boldness, this audacity, this choice to be brave in the midst of being afraid that gives us freedom. It liberates us from the lie of what we think we aren't or cannot do + propels us to embrace who we are, with confidence in where we're headed. And right now, bravery for me is simply being myself. Being free from the fear of being ridiculed for my appearance. Free from worrying about my weight. Free from second-guessing my gifting + purpose. So the next time I stare into a mirror, I'll tell myself I'm beautiful. If I can't button my jeans, I'll pick something more comfortable to wear. Or when I feel discouraged or incompetent, I'll tell myself, "Girl, you got this! You were chosen for this, made for this!" In life, we may always wrestle with fear. But we will always have the option to be brave.
To let this sink in + carry on with ya throughout the days + weeks to come, here's a few iPhone wallpapers to remind you to live free of fear! Just click the one you like + save it!
In what areas of your life do you have the most fear? What does bravery look like to you? I'd love to hear your heart in the comments below!