You know what’s brave?

Showing up. Sometimes that’s the bravest thing you can do.

Letting your outsides and your insides match – that’s brave. So few people live lives of integrity. (Literally, integrity comes from being fully integrated.)

So is stepping on a battlefield on behalf of people you don’t know or potentially don’t even like.

Loving your son while burying your toddler – that’s brave. Excruciatingly brave.

It’s brave to move home.

It’s brave to let your 25 year old son venture to a South American country with no plan.

Writing a blog post, saying you’re lonely – that’s brave. One of my bravest friends did that and all of a sudden I realized how safe I was with her.

Admitting to your closest friends that something isn’t right is brave.

You can be brave to avoid a drink, a party, a person.

You’re brave when you love your husband, even when you don’t feel like it. Even after he has hurt you.

It’s brave to divorce. It’s brave to stay.

But you know what’s not brave? Calling people a coward. Making a contest out of bravery. One upping and condescending. Neither of those things take guts – they simply hide the cowardice.

To believe that one person’s bravery shortchanges another is to believe there’s a quantifiable, limited amount of brave in this world. There isn’t. It’s a lie we tell ourselves as we pit ourselves against others. To do so is to live by what Brene Brown calls Scarcity Culture and it simply isn’t true.

May we each do something brave today. Celebrate it. And don’t hold it to the measuring stick of another person’s brave thing. Instead, celebrate their bravery, too. We can all do brave things.

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