Posts Tagged With: bravery

Day 2478: Learning how to be brave

Yesterday, when I was brave enough to visit the Broken Tail Rescue cat adoption center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I noticed this description of two of the kitties there:

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Luna is learning how to be brave by following her brother’s lead, says the description.

 

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I think Luna is learning a lot — she’s up front and seems fearless.  I also think her brother, Ray, is learning from her.

I’ve been learning how to be brave my whole life, which I’ll be describing in a 5-minute talk at my 45th college reunion in two weeks.  Learning how to be brave includes:

  • following good role models,
  • feeling the fear and doing it anyway,
  • letting go of harsh judgments,
  • having faith in your process,
  • accepting all your feelings,
  • being kind to yourself and others,
  • carrying supportive people in your heart and mind,
  • committing to the here and now,
  • learning from everything, and
  • telling your story authentically.

I’ll be using those “Learning how to be brave” guidelines when I’m bravely telling my story authentically in front of hundreds of people, soon.

I was learning how to be brave when I took these other photos yesterday:

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Harley is learning to be brave by being up off the floor.

What can we learn from Harry Potter: How to be Brave?

 

How are you learning to be brave?

Thanks to all the brave and learning ones who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to you, my brave reader.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1610: Enter here

Enter here, dear readers.

As I enter another blog post here, I wonder why I entered this image onto my iPhone yesterday.

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I shall enter here my best guesses:

  • It’s good to know where you should enter.
  • No matter where we are or where we’ve been, we still need to enter different places.
  • Soon I shall enter a new home.
  • Next year, I shall enter a new position of responsibility.
  • Yesterday, after I entered the place where I saw the “Enter Here” sign, I ran into somebody who had previously held that position of responsibility.  When I asked him if he thought I had what it took to enter into that position successfully, he entered a vote of confidence.
  • I have entered many blog posts here and hope to enter many more.
  • Today is Memorial Day in the USA, where we honor those who entered battle, never to return.

I shall now enter here, with gratitude, my other photos from yesterday.

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Categories: gratitude, in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 269: Why yesterday was a good day.

Last week, I wrote about bad days and good days (including how our internal experience can greatly affect how we judge those).

Yesterday, by any criteria, was a good day.

Here are some of the reasons why this was true:

Reason # 1.

Something I had been hoping for and working towards, at work, came true.

Specifically: I will be able to reach out, more directly, to people who might benefit from the therapy groups I offer.

While I can’t foretell the future, I believe this will have many good effects on the groups.

Reason #2.

Something I had been hoping for and working towards, here in the blogosphere, came true.

Specifically: A particular country came up in my readership statistics.

While my readership for this blog this year has been expanding in amazing and gratifying ways, one country has been conspicuously absent.

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Iceland.

I hear a lot of great things about Iceland, from people who have visited that country.

And I would like to visit Iceland, some day.

As I would like to visit many, many other countries.

And this might sound like bragging, but many, many other countries have shown up in my WordPress readership statistics, during this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally.

But not Iceland.  And I’ve been noticing that, for months.

And as I’ve written about before (like here and here), we can tend to notice what’s missing, and give that more importance than what we already have.

So while I’ve enjoyed looking at my growing readership statistics,  sometimes I would wonder, Where’s Iceland?

And I don’t mean to slight the other countries, who have been showing up, day after day.  I have welcomed each new country, with joy and appreciation.

But, as time has gone on, Iceland’s absence has loomed larger.

Sometimes, this thought would pop up:

Is Iceland too cool for me?

And I would dismiss that thought as silly (not to mention an example of several types of cognitive distortions).

Nevertheless, I continued to notice. And I’ve even remarked on The Absence of Iceland, to others.

So, I was particularly thrilled, yesterday, when Iceland finally showed up — on the very same day as Good News #1, above!

Reason #3.

I had a breakthrough therapy session, yesterday.

Specifically: I asked some questions, that I had never asked before.

I was brave.

Reason #4.

I felt so good — and brave — last night, that I decided to bite the bullet and finally commit to watching a TV Show that people I love have been talking about, for quite a while.

And, people have been talking about this show much more, lately, because the show is about to end, this Sunday.

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I watched many episodes of that show, last night.

My hope is to catch up, so I can join some people I love on Sunday, as they watch the final episode.

If I make that goal, great!   If I don’t, c’est la vie.

Either way, I’m going to fortune-tell here, and predict that Sunday is going to be another good day.

I’ll let you know, next week.

Thanks to Iceland, the rest of the world, and to you — of course — for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 211: A short (but sweet) post

In any moment, you can learn from anything and anyone you meet.

Including this:

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Thank you, bumper sticker!

And thanks to all my readers, including you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 137: Ghosts and Bravery

When I was a little kid, I was afraid of ghosts.

I remember, very vividly, sitting stock-still, wide awake — when my mother, father, and sister were all asleep — listening for ghosts.

The ghosts that I was listening for —  among all the noises one hears in the middle of the night — were malevolent.  I feared they meant my family — and me — harm.

(By the way, I had no idea what I was going to write about when I woke up this morning. However, I know I’m writing about the “right thing” now.  How do I know that?  I’m crying,  and I don’t know where this post is going. )

I would sit up in my bed for — how long? It felt like hours, listening for these malevolent ghosts during the night.

Over the years, I’ve talked about these memories with a therapist or two.  I’ve been puzzled by why I was doing that, as a child.

I remember a therapist or two saying, “That sounds like you believed that you and your family were in danger, and you wanted to protect them.”

I remember thinking, in response to these therapists  (and I’m still thinking now): “That’s weird. Why did I think we were in danger?  And why did I think that I — a little girl who was sick a lot, during that time — had the power to protect us? Who did I think I was?  And who did I think was endangering us?”

Again, I’m crying, so I think I’m “on to something” right now.

And I’m not sure what it is, but I’ll do my best to get closer to something helpful, before I end this post, drive my son to school, and go on into work.

The thought, “Who do you think you are?” is one that comes into my mind whenever I think I’m too powerful.  It’s a painful thought, because it’s associated with shame.

Another thing that’s striking me, right now, is how brave and caring I apparently was, as a little kid.  I’ve never had that thought before today, as I’m writing this post for you.

Before today, whenever I’ve thought about that little girl, sitting up in bed, scared of ghosts, wanting to protect her family, these were the thoughts:

 How weird you were. That doesn’t make sense.  What were you thinking?  

But I’m seeing and telling the story, very differently, today.

Here’s something else that is helping me do that.

Yesterday, at work, I had the privilege of facilitating a group where one of the members — a beautiful, intelligent, passionate, caring, emotional woman, who had experienced painful experiences, illnesses, and set-backs in her life — talked about (1) things that made her anxious and (2) ways she “beat herself up.”  Eventually, she told us about some scary experiences she had, as a kid.  And the group, spontaneously and authentically,  told her how much they supported and admired her.

And I wrote the word “bravery” on the white board I have in my office. And I invited everybody in that group yesterday — each of them people who had dealt with crippling anxiety at some point in their lives — to think about how they could see themselves as having been brave in the midst of fear.

In the group, I said something to the beautiful, passionate, crying woman — who had taken the risk of revealing painful memories of her childhood to people she had only met a few times previously.   “I can’t imagine a more vivid picture of bravery than the one you painted for us today. A little girl standing —  scared but unmoving —  between a violent person and a beloved family member.”

And I wasn’t sure whether that was the right thing to say, because I wasn’t sure how she would hear it or take it in.  (But based on what I saw in the faces of all the group members, yesterday,  it looked like it was okay.)

I realize — as I am writing this blog post to you —  I am telling myself the same exact thing I was trying to communicate to that beautiful, passionate, feeling-filled woman yesterday.

I’m picturing my 10-year-old self, frozen with fear at night, listening for malevolent forces in my home, not sure what I might do, but fixated on protecting my family, who were unaware of danger, sleeping peacefully.

And, right now I’m letting in, for myself, what I said to that woman in group yesterday.

I couldn’t imagine a more vivid picture of bravery than that: a little girl, scared and unmoving, trying to protect family members she loved from harm.

I have some surprising new thoughts, this morning:

  • Maybe ghosts do exist in some way. And maybe, just like  “clichés” tell us, they are related to the spirits of people who have passed on from this world.
  • Maybe there are signals, to us, in this world, to help keep us on the “right” track. (And here’s some current “proof” and data for THAT. This beautiful creature, who lives with us, and likes to sit on laps, laptops, and other things,  just improved this post with an editing change:Image.)
  • Maybe, just maybe, ever since I was a little kid,  I’ve been a person who passionately wishes to do well in this world.
  • And maybe part of what I was trying to protect my family from were my own “bad feelings” that I  must have had as a kid (but don’t remember feeling).  That is, maybe I was trying to protect myself and them from the rage and fear that any young kid would have naturally felt — having to leave my family and stay in a place (the hospital) filled with pain and people who appeared not to care about me at all.

Phew!  This was a surprising post. (And I’m not sure if it all makes sense.)

But it felt so important, as I was writing it, that I ended up not driving my son to school this morning — he walked instead. (That, however, resulted in my son and I exchanging many “gifts” before he left,  including both of us — in our own ways — expressing love and trying several new things.)

But now it’s time for me to conclude, this morning.

Thanks for reading, and for taking whatever you need from this, wherever you are.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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