After last week’s “Spirituality“, I was looking forward to think about this week’s challenge – that of bravery. I considered what we meant when we said that someone was brave – and what situations that might be an appropriate response. The first image that came to mind was the firefighters – who will often be required to enter structures that might be on the verge of being unsafe (at least, when I got out from my own house the firemen were there in the house when it was too hot and smokey for us). And whilst I think that is a good definition of bravery, and certainly from a personal perspective I’m pleased that there are people prepared to do that, I wasn’t quite sure that it was the angle I wanted to take for this week.
Plus, I thought that just running into burning buildings wasn’t something I wanted to do.
My next thoughts I think really covered the elements that I wanted to focus on for the subject of bravery – that element of facing a personal challenge or fear. It may be that we decide to say “f**k it” and tell the world about what makes us tick – whether that is enjoying drawing cute pandas, cats and bunnys, whether that is about our sexual orientation, or even that we just feel comfortable dressing in a particular way that might be considered different from societal norms (heck, even deciding to actually dye your hair blond for the heck of it) actually just saying that this is what I like doing can be quite a brave thing to do.
But from that thought, I also considered the internal battle that many of us have, just being ourselves. By that, the fear that we may hold within ourselves of how good we actually are – that thought in the back of the head that says “you can’t draw”, “you can’t run”, “you’re just rubbish at everything”. In this case, it isn’t about freeing ourselves from how we feel we might be perceived from other people, but instead it’s about freeing ourselves from how we perceive ourself and having the confidence to go “actually, I will have a go at drawing” and – irrespective of what we produce (remember all art is subjective) – actually just being proud that we went and did it. This is, to some extent, the first step before we start to be who we want to be.
My image for this week, to pick just one from the selection, is the next one; facing our fears. Whether that is accepting who we are for ourselves, presenting that accepted self to the world – and even then running headlong into the scary world (yup, the analogy which is the burning building), the first step is building that confidence to do something about it. That very scary first step.
To show that image, I deliberately chose the small Lego child legs, rather than the more articulate “adult” Lego legs. The fact that the child has a Teddy Bear and a toy sword highlights their mental self taking control and bravely facing the fears, the bear providing a moral support to beating whatever it is they are facing off in battle. I tried to remain vague about whether the child is a boy or a girl as I think this fact is irrelevant; it could be someone might attach importance to the fact that the bear is pink in colour – but actually a) it was the first one I found (borrowed from the girl in the earlier picture) and b) see an earlier comment about liking drawing cute bunnies 🙂
So, when you think of Bravery, what comes to your mind?
Next week: Community.