Sometimes the most courageous thing we do in a day is say, “yes.” Yes to the mess and the imperfect. Yes to looking at our children with regard, and softly saying, “You matter.” Yes to responding to our partners with eyes of compassion instead of reacting out of our habitual ways of closing off our hearts. Yes to writing one more page in the book we were born to create. Yes to treating ourselves with tenderness. Yes to the power of gentleness.
I believe that bravery isn’t about being fearless. It’s about daring to be our vulnerable, real, not-all-together selves and finding the miraculous right here within us and our everyday lives.
To be vulnerable — with our own selves, with each other…to dare to say “I love you” and not hold back, to dare to move closer instead of reacting in our habitual ways by pulling back, to speak up for something we believe in even when our voice is shaky or tears come streaming down.
To be real — not someone else, not what anyone else wants or what society wants us to be…but what we KNOW in our bones is our truth. To speak it. To live it. To be it.
To be our “not-all-together-selves” — imperfect. To “mess up” and give ourselves a dose of compassion and begin again.
To find the miraculous in the mess right here – YES. If we are going to be “happy” then it’s RIGHT HERE. It has to be found right here. Not on some Caribbean island or at the bottom of a cookie jar — that’s the mind looking for happiness in the wrong place — outside of ourselves. Nope. HAPPINESS is a CHOICE. And it takes courage to orient our hearts and minds to NOTICING the miraculous RIGHT HERE in our everyday lives — the way your daughter’s eyelashes curl, the mere size and shape of your son’s growing hand (almost bigger than yours!), how the snow sparkles at night, the morning light dancing in through your windows, the softness of a blanket wrapped around you, the delight of running into a friend as you are out and about… THESE are the precious and miraculous of our day. THIS is what saves us. THIS is how we choose happiness.
To find the miraculous within us — YES. WITHIN US. So so often I hear the harsh things people tell themselves — the daily voices in one’s head incessantly saying, “You aren’t enough,” “Who are you to believe you are worth loving?”, “Why even try? You’ll mess up”…etc etc. Enough. Practice softening. Practicing being breathed. Practice gentleness.
It takes COURAGE to live this way. Why? Because we live in a culture where this isn’t the “norm.” We are wired to have a bias toward the negative. BUT we are also wired for compassion, for empathy, for making wise decisions and enlightenment. And what do I mean by “enlightenment”? Union with (however you define) the Divine.
Yes, dear ones, it takes courage to find the Divine, right here in our everyday lives. But…it is here. All around us. I see it in you — your writing, your voice, the way your hair curls, the laugh lines on your face, the boldness of your brown eyes, your aging hands, the stories you tell, the way you come up with these hilarious one liners, the courage you have to get up every morning…and love.
So keep saying YES! Yes to the mess, to loving, to softening, to the imperfect, to the unexpected, to the joy, to the sadness, to the miraculous…right here.
** Check out this piece from a TED video on GRATITUDE… “if you do nothing else than notice the great gift this great day is…if you learn to respond as if it is the first day of your life and the last day of your life, you will have spent it well.”