Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: jealousy

Let’s all be brave

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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Becoming “her”

My facebook feed filled up* with my friends being good moms. J took her husband’s suggestion to get in a workout instead of dealing with piles of laundry. One of the best ways to teach our sons to value ourselves is to do things we love and need. Another friend, A,  took the time to snap a fun picture with her little boy. What a reminder to enjoy memorable moments.

Two truths emerged from reading these. First, I’m so, so incredibly fortunate – and grateful – to have such wonderful people on this parenting journey with me. A basic truth of the world is that you become more like those with whom you spend time, and I would be honored to become more like many of my Overfield friends.

The second realization is that I get to choose to react with gratefulness rather than jealousy and defensiveness. How easy it could be to see the great job they do with their little ones and think of all the excuses why I don’t do it how they do. But where does that get me?

My yoga teacher instructs – notice it, don’t judge. If I simply notice my inclination to become defensive, I can explore the reasons why I feel that way – and leave my friend, who is only doing a good job being a good mom – out of it. 

There was a day and a time when that may have been my reaction. But judgement speaks more about me than about any person who steps in my path. Now I can watch these beautiful women do so well what they love to do and say celebrate another woman, fully alive. 
*Yesterday, as it’s now Ash Wednesday and I’m not reading my feed
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© 2017 Michele Minehart

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