Sara Bareilles just released a new song and video from her upcoming album, entitled “Brave”. It encourages the listener to be brave, speak up for what they believe in, and to not let fear control their lives. (I think this is awesome. Ten thousand brownie points for Sara Bareilles!)
As I was driving to work, I was listening to this song (over, and over, and over again), and it got me to thinking: what does it mean to be brave? For a lot of people, the word “brave” conjures images of superheroes and war veterans. You know, the few and the proud. For others, it brings to mind great, heroic actions: rescuing someone who is drowning, throwing oneself in front of a bullet for another, saving a life. And while all these things are massively brave things to do, I believe that bravery–like people–comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
For someone struggling with addiction or disorder, bravery is finally asking for help.
For someone who is being bullied, bravery is finally standing up and staying “Stop”.
For someone who has body image issues, bravery is saying “Screw you!” to impossible standards of beauty. It is finally loving who they are instead of struggling to become who everyone says they should be.
For someone hiding their sexuality, bravery is standing up and saying “This is who I am! Take it or leave it.” And if people decide to leave it, bravery is telling those folks not to let the door hit them on the way out.
Bravery is standing up for what you believe in, and shouting it off the rooftops. It’s sticking up for those who can’t, and speaking loudly for those with no voice.
For me, bravery was finally saying “Enough.” to a bad relationship, and getting the hell out of dodge. Then, bravery was allowing my heart to be open despite all the hurt I had felt, and falling in love again.
Sure, those veterans and heroes are brave. But “big” isn’t the only measure of bravery. So, if it means putting on a bikini for the first time, coming out to your folks, or finally breaking off that toxic friendship/relationship, go ahead.
I want to see you be brave.