“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it”-
I’ve been thinking a lot about courage in the last week, in the taking of the small steps to overcome that devil on my shoulder.
You know the one. She tells you to give up, that no one cares, that everyone is better, more interesting, more relevant.
But in recent days, when that voice begins to speak, I think back to Mel Wiggins’ speech @countryblogretreatni. Mel shared a book, made by her 8 year old self. She talked about flowers on a page, drawn everywhere and anywhere,the freedom of expression in that small act, of doing exactly what she wanted to do, without thought of revising or refining. The confidence, the courage.
Similarly, in the last weeks, I have watched my first born, my beautiful, bold, vibrant little girl, strive confidently forward into the unknown, starting a new school, making new friends in unfamiliar surroundings. All these new obstacles to overcome, and yet that 4 year old beauty marched in there with determination and confidence by the bucketload and marched out with a new BFF 1 hour later.
Children are truly our greatest teachers. The nerves we as adults feel, when stepping out of our safety bubble of family and friends and familiarity, the uncertainty in ourselves to speak out, whether it be in speech or in print, in fabric or in film, in canvas or in song, is the manifestation of a loss of the children we used to be.
I certainly felt it in the past week, at the blog meet up listening to The voice again,telling myself I was an imposter in this beautiful gathering of creatives, but I wasn’t, I was just bricking it. And the real surprise? Many of the other ladies were too. These bloggers, some with thousands of followers, beautiful style,who can snap a perfect pic and caption in seconds, were quaking in their boots.As terrible as it sounds, I felt more at ease with knowing that we were all in the same muddle of excited uneasy anticipation.
After the day was done, and feeling the satisfaction that so often comes when we achieve something we didn’t think we could, I did begin to wonder why? Why do we lack confidence to express ourselves creatively? Why do we feel like we can’t? And even on those rare occasions when we can’t, why do we fear the failure? Surely either way it’s a lesson learned?
I can only imagine that the answer is life, the knocks we get through the words or actions of others, the judging looks, that throwaway comment.
And so, this community that we are building, this virtual high fiving, through likes and positive comments becomes so very very important. It isn’t and shouldn’t be everything, but hey, it’s nice all the same right?
So let’s start from a place of kindness, of non judgment, of blanket acceptance, just like the pure hearts of our children.To lift each up and give each other back our courage.
We spend our days loving and caring, kissing and consoling, chiding and cherishing our little ones -arrogantly thinking that we are teaching them. Oh goodness no. How very wrong we are.
They, in their unashamedly uninhibited, sometimes utterly outrageous, free spirited beauty, are the best teachers of all. In the running so fast your legs may fall off, in the eating of the whole packet of sweets without concern, in the energy, in the enthusiasm, in the kindness and in the fearlessness, they are the courageous ones, the livers of life.