This isn’t so much a blog post as it is me sharing a song I’ve recently come across. It is called “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and you can listen to it here:
I find the lyrics of this song to be particularly profound. The premise is this: We’ve all been through crappy things, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have a choice to change. Even when we’ve been beaten down by others, through words or through actual physical violence, we can choose to rise above it and carry on. We don’t have to cower in fear of our pasts or be the people others have tried to make us. Instead we can choose to be brave.
You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
We can be the voice that other people need to hear. We, the everyday average nobodies who are just trying to make it, can make a difference when we choose to do so. When we allow ourselves to toss aside the fear of embarrassment or of breaking social norms, the world becomes a much more hopeful place.
When I started running last summer I had a lot of reservations. The voices in my head told me that I was too fat, I would look ridiculous, I would never be able to run, everyone who was at the park with me would think badly of me, and so many other things. I was worried about what the world would think and in a moment of raw courage, I decided to put on a pair of sweatpants, pull a sweatshirt over my head, and run.
I didn’t make it far, but that emboldened me. It helped me feel braver, all because I was willing to step out and take a chance. I did what I wanted to do even though it opened me up to a lot of criticism…and in the end it was one of the best choices I could have made.
Perhaps that is a trivial example, but I think it fits. I had to overcome a sense of discouragement toward where I was in order to realize that I can improve my circumstances and, in the long run, encourage other people to do the same. It was not an easy process and I don’t think being brave ever will be. In the end, though, it is worth it every time.