How to Be Brave

image - Brave Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willful engagement of fear, and the choice you make to proceed even in its presence.

Focus on being Okay -- regardless of the lover leaving you, or the bank foreclosing, or the blood test coming back positive...

But remember the thin line between "being okay" and pessimism -- expecting the worst, drawing it to you, and creating self-fulfilling negative prophecies.

Whatever you choose to believe, you will eventually be right. Pessimism allows you to be right about everything going wrong.

The only way "out" is to come through. When you focus on being Okay no matter what happens, you're affirming that external circumstances do not determine your strength or control your inner peace.

Maybe you think "I'll just die if the Thing I fear comes to pass…" You are not defined by the shit you find yourself smack in the middle of -- you are always You, self-defined, and assisted in expressing who you are by any challenge that comes your way.

Your life can be made better even by the things that break your heart. Find the faith to tell yourself: "Even if I don't know right now how I will ever survive, or why this is happening to me, I will find out by experiencing it and coming out the other side of it."

Where you stumble, there your treasure lies. "I will find a way to be Okay with whatever. I will find a way to use it." You hold your head up and you walk bravely to meet it, with your eyes open for what it will teach you, for the treasures that will be only found inside the experience.

Nothing but a victim. If you allow yourself to be dragged through, weeping and wailing and resisting, then you will arrive at the other side dead, or at best wounded -- again -- with nothing to show for it but tears and complaints. No power collected…

Brave people take action. They don't annihilate the fear or extinguish it prior to the experience -- without it, there is no call to be brave. Brave people -- everyday heroes you can name -- do their thing in the presence of fear.

Be afraid if you need to -- it's expected. Just don't stop moving forward. Maybe the first thing you need to figure out is exactly what you're afraid of.

Slade's signature

Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr