your level of brave

April 24, 2012

I headed out for a run yesterday morning, and as I was leaving the building, the doorman (who has become somewhat familiar with my running schedule), said, “it’s really windy out there today. you’re brave to go for a run.”

brave: having or showing courage

me? brave?

to him, I was brave to go for a run in the chilly, windy weather.

to me, being brave is getting outside of our comfort zone, doing something selflessly for another person, doing the right thing (even if it’s not “cool” – I know, very after school special of me), taking on a new challenge, living the life of your dreams, banishing worry, expressing love, and even harder at times, accepting love.

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on my run, I kept thinking about brave.

I ran from the Financial District through Battery Park, and up the West Side Hwy. it was windy and cold, but I felt strong as I peered up at the Freedom Tower, and remembered all of the brave men, women, and children who were victims, survivors, and heroes on 9.11.01. that’s a level of brave I can barely comprehend.

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(above photo taken Feb 2012)

for others, being brave might be signing up for their 1st race, showing up to a social event alone, turning down dessert when everyone else is eating it in order to stay on their Weight Watchers plan, or forgiving someone rather than holding on to anger.

being brave – having courage! – can be defined in infinite ways, and no way is right or wrong, better or worse. it’s about embracing where we are today, and our level of brave will change over and over throughout our days, weeks, months, and years.

I believe that being true to ourselves, and in turn, being authentic with others, is one of the bravest things we can do on a consistent basis.

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how is bravery showing up in your life today?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) April 24, 2012 at 7:20 am

What a wonderful post. “I believe that being true to ourselves, and in turn, being authentic with others, is one of the bravest things we can do on a consistent basis.” I absolutely love this too. It’s not easy being true to ourselves all the time nor always authentic with others. It shouldn’t be hard, it doesn’t sound hard, but it really can be.

lindsay April 24, 2012 at 7:31 am

brave means following dreams, not giving up, getting out of your comfort zone, and believing in yourself. Brave is serving others, being selfless, being honest, and being genuine. Brave is confidence in who God created us to be.
<3
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Jess April 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

This is so beautiful. I love how you describe bravery as not only getting out of your comfort zone, but doing the right thing, and doing selfless acts for others. That last one I never really considered as “brave” but it totally is about being brave enough to put someone else first, showing them love and attention and respect. Bravery to me is also about living on the edge of fear almost, of not putting limits on your days, your weeks, your years on this earth and going for it with gusto. I’ve been trying to live my life that way more and more, particularly this year, my year of ‘no limits’ and so far — it’s been an incredible (sometimes scary) journey.
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sarah @ sarah learns April 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

i love this post. examples of bravery can be different for each person and it’s not anyone’s place to judge what can be brave. like you mentioned, for some people, signing up for races is second nature and it’s not a difficult thing for them to do, but signing up for that FIRST race. geez, that can be incredibly scary and so out of one’s comfort zone! (that one spoke to me because i just FINALLY signed up to run my first race yesterday – the race is this weekend and running it with all of those people will be FAR out of my comfort zone.)
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jobo April 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

Amen. This is a beautiful post and defines bravery so well…because it is undefined and only defined by everyone’s own definition. Being brave is different for everyone, but it’s still bravery. For me, I think one of the first times I really thought about bravery was my divorce. I actually think it was brave of my ex to take that step, one that I know I never would have (let alone seen that it was what was meant to happen), rather than stay in a marriage that had somehow gotten broken along the way.
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cathy@1970kikiproject April 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

thank you for providing me with my morning reflection, dorry.
the thought that resonates the most with me today is: “being brave is getting outside of our comfort zone.” it’s so easy to stick with the comfortable, the known!! but to grow and EXPERIENCE LIFE we need to push…you and billy exemplify this to me with your move to nyc. also, being brave means TAKING CHANCES, imo.
i soooo wish i could run that route with you!!! please continue to share your running adventures!!
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Amberly April 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I can’t believe how timely this post is… it may sound silly, but it took a LOT for me to go to a HIIT class tonight at the YMCA. I was SO scared. The girls from work have asked me to join them for months and I always tell them about my “class anxiety”–sad, but true. I get so nervous about being with other people, that they’re judging me or something. I always go for walks alone, but I’m realizing that desiring isolation all of the time is left over from my ED and that’s something I really want to work on.

Thanks for the encouraging words. :)

Lauren @ WWoB April 25, 2012 at 1:13 am

Dorry, I am so ashamed that it has been so long since I have commented, but I have been here, reading every post! I ADORED following yall on your journey to NY! The pictures, food, hotels, and bike rides were so picturesque and cuuttee. Yall as a couple make me so happy. And I am so excited for you to explore NY and I cant wait to get to see the city through you! While I have been to some distant places, I have never been to the Big Apple! When I finally do go, I plan on eating and shopping until I cant afford to continue haha.

And bravery… to me, that is making yourself be very very uncomfortable. It may seem petty, but my most recent stint at being brave was yesterday. I SUCK at sports. Anything with a ball or catching and I make a fool of myself. My friend wanted me to play football with her and a big group of guys. Ordinarily Id sit out and watch, but I made myself play. And yeah, I made a fool out of myself, but I got .0001% bettter and the humiliation was very humbling.

XOXO
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dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

if I find myself doing and saying things that aren’t true to my authentic self, I always stop and ask myself why?? then I try to remember the next time to just be myself and accept others just the way they are. :)

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

love this! so true, and clearly spoken directly from your heart!

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

thank you, Jess! I always love your feedback and insight, and agree about not putting limits on our life – it’s much more rewarding to live without limits! and yes, you’re kicking ass on living a no limits life this year! marathon, what??! :)

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

congrats on signing up for your 1st race! that’s amazing! and you will totally kick ass. I know it. and most importantly, have fun!

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

and you’re brave for sharing and being honest about your divorce! I can only imagine how many people’s lives you’ve touched by writing about your personal experience.

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

yes! taking chances, for sure. that’s one big way to get out of our comfort zone…and we’re feeling it, but in a good way! a learning, growing, exciting way. :)

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

doesn’t sound silly at all! I still get nervous before trying new classes every time, and I also understand the desire for isolation. I really do. I try to just have a lighthearted attitude and not take myself too seriously – I just went to a new class yesterday that I’m going to write about soon, and I’m going to another tomorrow. it’s good for us to get out there and experience new things. each time for me is a step towards self-confidence!

dorrybird April 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

you are so sweet to comment! I know you’re busy as shit out there in Cali! :) I’ve been reading without commenting on so many of my favorite blogs lately. I don’t have as much time in front of my laptop these days! I hope you’ll make it out here to visit at some point – you’d love it here! the restaurants and shopping are right up your alley. :)

I’m all about the humiliation with trying new sports/activities. we can’t take ourselves too seriously, right? where’s the fun in that? xo

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