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The angry-brave look is the dictionary definition in our minds, it's what we're comfortable with because it's specific. But then there's brave like smiles in the midst of deep sadness, whispers in the expanse of a diseased silence, hope when all dreams have been dashed and the last chance isn't looking so hot. Brave is so much more than that angry face and taut muscles.
Brave is knowing the price of action and realizing the cost of denial is far greater. It's setting aside the resources -energy, time, money- necessary to invest in yourself and being sure the efforts are worth it. It's knowing you can pour out over and over again because you will be poured into. It's constant pursuit without discouragement because you know the world needs you.
Brave is the act of speaking words you're afraid to say. It's saying what if this isn't what we thought this life was going to look like. It's asking if we can thrive in this spot or is it simply a place in which we survive. And what is it worth to take that risk and jump from surviving to an insane amount of thriving? It's saying all those things gracefully and honestly.
Brave is the ability to give words to those latent desires. It's about having dreams and honoring them, though fail and fear might break your spirit. It's seizing the opportunity to do that one crazy thing you never really imagined yourself doing simply because you can, because you've given yourself permission, because your heart simply needs you to hike over that unknown trail and be surprised by its wildness.
Brave is playing the cards you've been dealt with zeal. Because some hands suck, some hands look like loss and death and sadness and they feel so unfair and mean. It's those hands that make you want to throw in the cards, toss them heavenward and walk away from the table. But life pulls you in, it dares you to make something of yourself and brave does, it shakes and bakes and makes something no one ever expected out of what appeared to be absolutely nothing.
Brave is smiling in the face of heartache. It's knowing the smile is real, is celebratory, is something more than just a pasted on grin. It's not a bunch of pearly whites attempting to mask the real ache, but is true blue cracks of joy in a pained face. Those smiles are the bravest kind of beautiful smiles.
There's no recipe to brave, no perfect look or posture. There's no journey that's any more brave than another. There's no way to bolster you or your story, except for the encouragement to go and be brave.