Show Me How To Be Brave.
The brave ones are beautiful.
The way they walk like they do, with open hands and hearts into places promising unknown conditions. A wide, dark field of maybe this will be okay or maybe not so much. What if the sun never comes?
I’d like them to show me how they do it. I’d like to know how to let go of those we once loved that live in places not so hidden, and still show up in dreams a bit too vivid. The ones we aren’t so ready to let go of yet… but should.
I’d like them to teach me how to risk what is safe, or how to set boundaries with the wrongs, or how to say No when it’s not a wholehearted Yes.
How to wake up at dawn to do what I should do, to break through the barriers, tear down the walls, be brave enough to face demons with a fistful of self worth, idealisms, clearer views.
How to fiercely love my aging skin, same as my hands that cook and caress or shoulders that still hold strong and defined, despite the weight of raw stress and steel grit, time after time, after time.
Show me how to be brave. How to be made of still and steady ground instead of waves, or rocks instead of fire, and flickering, dying flame. How to walk in the storm and not be swallowed by wind, or how to breathe when your throat feels as though it’s rapidly tightening, and closing in.
Help me speak the truth. How to pass along words that may be hard to swallow, how to not ignore all things that must be noticed, how to heed the call in your body, and follow.
Guide me on how to be wrong. How to knock on a door and apologize, how to listen hard to feedback, how to nod and agree when I should simply go along.
Help me unlearn what I’ve learned, unravel what shouldn’t stay tied, and walk away, even when it will never feel comfortable, gentle, or right.
Teach me how to have faith. How to talk to someone who may not make it, how to stand, strong as gravity itself, beside a bed whispering the bravest of goodbyes. How to hold still while sweeping back our weeping cries; how to assure them it’s okay to leave us; how to tell of a place that awaits pain-free and bright; that their person will be standing there, on the other side.
Teach me how to be brave when you stare straight into my eyes, and I must fight the urge to turn away, to look left, down, right.
Tell me how to believe. How to believe in constellations, in seasons, in you, in the future, and mostly, in me.
Show me how to be brave when I can’t make a decision, when clarity refuses to sit by to my side. Show me how to be brave when I’ve lost my wildness, my spirit, and my primitive, piercing Whys.
Do you see my heart? It’s the same hot heart that’s been shattered hundreds or maybe thousands of times, its pieces sewn together loosely enough to be lost, likely for good, with the next saddening find. How to bleed out my lessons so that others can take note; it’s relation and vulnerability that helps us stay afloat.
I have lived long enough now to know that bravery isn’t always easy, and courage is something we cannot always contain. Yet…
Even when you don’t feel brave, I know you are.
Even when I don’t feel brave, I know I am.
Show me, teach me, and relearn alongside me.
And I’ll do the same for you.
Together, we’ll falter and fall and begin yet again,
and remember what it means to be brave.