an underestimated miracle: on courage
“The world shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~Anais Nin
As I’m writing this, I am lying on the kitchen floor at my BFF’s house. I am still wearing my PJs. I have post-sleepover hair (slightly dinglehopper-esque, with a touch of Helena Bonham Carter). It’s the opposite of sexy, trust me.
But I am writing with a pen and paper, thinking about courage, thinking about how difficult it is to not only be ourselves, but to expose that self to the world.
Despite our protestations otherwise, we are fragile creatures. Our hearts and feelings, even more so. Yet we are also brave and resilient, full of promise and promises. I think that we are often our best self/selves when we are the most open and uncomfortable. When we don’t run, even though our heart is pounding and our palms are sweating.
It is our capacity to trust, to risk, to bare our souls, and to love that transforms us into better people, better versions of ourselves. We are, stripped down at the end of the day, just our hearts. What we do with them. What we allow them to do. Because, nearly above all else, a heart needs freedom. You cage it, and it is less–a bird with clipped wings and lead feet. Release it, and see what happens. See what transpires. See it, and you change.
Every act of bravery/honesty/risk is one of utter truth. It is also one of hope. It is terrifying and insane, yes. But where would we be without such things? Nowhere. If our feet are tethered to the ground, then we are nothing but shadows of ourselves.
Courage is a funny thing. Seize it, and it is like swallowing a star. Let it go, and a light somewhere–maybe not right in front of your eyes, but somewhere–goes out. You may not see the impact, initially, but it’s there. And once it’s gone, it’s gone. The sky is, somehow, less — despite the other things twinkling there.
Bravery, I think, comes in many forms. Sometimes, it’s a matter of expressing how we feel. Or what we need. Or what we want. Sometimes, it’s pulling the unsaid words, one by one, screaming out of your chest. Always it is an underestimated miracle.
Honor it as such.