A person commented recently on my Facebook and called me brave. Being a “word person” this set me on a rather lengthy meditation on the real meaning of bravery. Brave. This is a word I have used all my life, a simple word, really. I looked it up again. Read all the definitions.
ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.
“a brave soldier”
synonyms: courageous, valiant, valorous, intrepid, heroic, lionhearted, bold, fearless, gallant, daring, plucky, audacious
people who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.
an American Indian warrior.
synonyms: warrior, soldier, fighter
“an Indian brave”
endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear.
“we had to brave the full heat of the sun”
I don’t really feel brave. It seems too heroic for me. But then again is bravery heroic? In truth I think that if I come off as brave, then really it is just my ability to accept circumstances in my life and to struggle through them in the best way that I can. My life has been rough. Very rough. I have seen things few human being see. True evil. I have been alone through much of it.
Much of the true evil I have had to face was during my years homeless and on the streets at a very young age as a hippy runaway chick. Murder, rape, violence, death and all the various “mini evils” that hover like dark satellites around people in this outcast world were a part of my daily life for a long time.
I wrote a book about it. My life that is. I never finished it. I found that writing about some of the worst parts was too painful. I began to talk to people about it, because I could talk about it, but the writing of it brought too much of that memory into the present and was too painful. I was not brave enough I guess.
But in all this, my decision that to share it all, openly, my passage from this life, I suppose to others it may indeed seem brave. Or perhaps it is my attitude towards it. But you see that comes from God, and so it is effortless on my part. He is the one giving me strength, comfort, and peace. From the very moment that the news was given me, I have been wrapped in His arms, I am safe, so there is no reason for bravery of my own volition.
Even having said that, there is Fear. But the fear is so small, human worry. And it does not affect me deeply, I instead turn again to God.
Jesus, I trust in you.
My fear is not death, or dying. My fears are mundane little things. I fear that my first seizure will happen when I am alone. I fear seeing the pain in my sister’s face when I am in the darkest parts. I fear my brother Paul’s grief as he loses his Lolly. I mostly fear that my dream of becoming Catholic before I die, and having a full confession and partaking of the Eucharist will not happen. But it is God’s timing, and it is in His hands, I reassure myself with this knowledge and release the fear to Him.
Let me make it to Easter.