Welcome back to another episode of beauty in balance.
I’m so happy to have you hear and this week’s episode comes from my very real struggles that I’ve been facing particularly this last week.
I’ve been confronted this last week with being brave.
What does it mean?
And what does bravery look like?
Another word that comes to mind when I think of bravery is courage.
And then I wonder if courage is a personality trait or a skill?
Is it something that you have or can you learn to be courageous?
I believe that the world we live in requires a lot of courage and bravery if we want to come to the end of our lives and be happy with how we’ve done. The legacy we’ll leave behind.
An exercise I’ve been doing since the beginning of this year was to write down the legacy that I want to leave behind in 50 years from now. They are big dreams of which the fulfilment of those dreams feel very far into the future. But writing those down and reading through them every day makes me realise that what I do today will either bring me closer to those dreams or take me further away.
As a family we are going through a bit of a tough time at the moment, as so many other people are. And let me just say, my problems are tiny compared to that of the rest of the world. We often feel guilty for struggling if we look at the massive struggles that people have to face every day. Just thinking of the war that is currently raging and so many people around the world affected to a big measure by the pandemic.
But it doesn’t mean that we are not allowed to feel the suffering of our own circumstances.
As long as we always practice gratitude for the many privileges we still have every day.
Anyway, this week I had a real tough day.
I was tired of having faith and trusting that things will work out.
I felt angry and frustrated with the fact that we are not gaining any ground after many months. That specific day, I didn’t want to be the adult that behaved in a responsible way or stayed positive.
I wanted to be angry and I wanted to lash out because it felt justified.
I felt anxious in my heart for what the future holds and I wanted to act on those emotions.
I’ve learned by now, that when I feel this way, I need to take my earphones and go for a walk. A long walk.
And while I was out on my walk, between the beautiful farmlands of the gorgeious rural setting where we live, I noticed again the beautiful mountain in the backdrop.
I was praying, asking God to strengthen my heart and give me courage.
I still wondered about what courage was and what it looks like.
But when I noticed the mountain, I was reminded about a hike up a mountain. It’s hard. You get tired, scratched by bushes and thirsty. You have to take quick breaks from time to time and sometimes the climb can be anything but pleasant. But when you get to the top, the breathtaking view is always worth the pain you’ve had to endure to get to the top.
But not only do you get the reward of the view, but an intense sense of accomplishment after dragging yourself up there.
I felt in my heart that the outcome of our current situation will be like that.
The view will be worth the climb!
You see, when we climb these often difficult mountains in life, we forget that we are heading to the top. OFten, wanting to give up halfway or actually giving up 10 steps before reaching the top. We get so focused on the current battle of putting one foot in front of the other, that we lose hope and perspective and give up.
That day, I was so ready to give up!
But I truly believe that God’s grace is sufficient for us, no matter where we find ourselves.
And the most important thing we can do every single day, is to keep moving. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
On this same walk, I started noticing the grass going to seed. Next to the road, there was this patch of dry seeded grass and it looked beautiful. Earthly colours are my favorite so I started picking a small handful of this grass. And as I picked the grass, I started noticing so many different types of grass and plants, also going to seed. Before I knew it, I had a huge handful of different grasses and dead branches in my hand which was so beautiful.
And this made me think of how plants have to actually die and go to seed in order to bring about growth and new life. But in that state of death, I still managed to see the beauty.
I was challenged with how I can choose to see the beauty in each season that I find myself in.
But it’s hard!
The challenges are so very real right now for so many people.
But here’s the thing. When we name those challenges, stay curious and keep showing up, no matter how hard it is, these challenges won’t have the power to stop us!
And for me, THAT’s bravery and courage.
So often perfectionism and fear keeps us from learning and growing.
Fear keeps us from embracing the season of going to seed.
It keeps us from putting one foot in front of the next on our way up the mountain.
Courage and bravery sounds like such amazing character traits or skills to have, but here’s what I believe….
Courage is something we LEARN to have.
It’s something that develops every time we embrace the hard times and experience the positive and encouraging outcomes.
As Brene Brown says, You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability. Courage and Fear are not mutually exclusive
We will always feel afraid and brave at the exact same time
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve made a promise to myself.
That I’ll live with a hero mentality and fight the victim mentality.
I will refuse to accept that the direction and outcome of my life is out of my control.
I believe that God is real and that He has a purpose for me and my family, but I believe that he gives us the pen to write our life stories. We co-write with him.
Each decision I make, attitude I adopt and battle I chose to fight and not give up, is part of writing my story.
Victims believe that God or fate has dealt them some kind of a bad hand
Or that other people are responsible for their failures
Bad things are going to happen - but how you respond determines whether you are going to grow or stagnate from there.
Choosing to be the victim will guarantee that you’ll stop growing, stop getting stronger and will keep you stuck in the hurt and challenges of your situation or life.
In any story, there are 4 characters. The hero, the guide, the villain and the victim.
The story is always about the hero. The victim is the person that needs to be rescued and the sole purpose of the victim is to make the hero look good.
We all have a choice between which of these 4 characters we play every moment of every day.
When we try to conquer hard things, we are the hero
When we seek vengeance or chose to remain angry, we play the villain,
When we help somebody else to achieve success, we are the guide
And when we give up and believe that we can’t do it and we’ll fail, we play the victim.
I believe that nwhen we allow ourselves to only experience fear and not fear alongside courage, we choose to be the victim.
It’s courage that is the difference between being victorious or being a victim
The more time we spend tapping into hero energy, the better our lives are going to go.
The more time we spend tapping into victim energy, the worse our lives are going to go
The reality is though, we will all experience days or moments where we find ourselves in the victim and villain roles. Just like I did this week. I WANTED to be the victim at that moment.
And sometimes that’s ok.
But it’s so important for your own growth and the outcome of your life to make a choice to shift back to hero mode.
When you choose to play the victim in life, the thing you need to remember is, that the story is never about the victim. The victim is only there to make the villain look bad and the hero look good.
Victims don’t get rewarded,
The never experience transformation.
Although a hero is almost always afraid and ill equipped at the begininng of a movie, he ends up being strong and transformed by the end of it. But the victim is still the same.
The only attention that victims get is people feeling sorry for them. That’s it.
Chosing to be the victim, means I don’t have to take accept responsibility. It’s out of my hands and therefore I don’t need to do hard things to move forward. I can just give that responsibility to someone or something else.
Heroes have specific goals that they want to achieve. They have a strong ambition and desire to overcome challenges.
Another interesting thing I’ve actually experienced very recently, is that there may be people in your life that wants you to be their victim.
Because when you are weak and live in the victim mentality, you will need them to take care of you and they like to be needed.
It’s important to understand that from time to time, we will all be real victims. There may come times in life where we need actual help. But what you need to know, is that a victim state is temporary. You don’t have to stay the victim. Seek help until you are strong enough to help yourself and others.
What I AM actually talking about here, is a mentality, not an actual reality of being in need of help. You need to fight for your right to succeed in this world, and sometimes that starts with accepting help and then taking responsibility for getting strong enough to help yourself and others. Our family need this from us. Our children need to learn this from us. We can all do hard things.
Heroes are not perfect,
They will experience setbacks and challenges from time to time,
but the thing about heroes is that they never give in.
They keep up the relentless forward motion because if they don’t keep moving forward, they know the story ends in tragedy.
This life and it’s challenges are very often unfair, but nobody has ever said that it will or should be easy.
Experiencing these challenges are what makes us grow and become better and stronger people.
I want to encourage you today to choose to tap into your hero mentality.
If you choose the victim mentality, it will end your personal development and growth. The story will end in tragedy.
It’s true that some people experience more challenges than others, but the more challenges you overcome, the more heroic your story will be.
Ok my friends, thank you for joining me again today.
If you can think of one other person that can benefit from sharing my journey with me, please share this episode with them today. I would be so very grateful.
Take care of yourself and remember, you can do hard things.
I’ll see you next week.