A friend recently complimented one of my blog posts. He told me I had courage for being so open about my life in my writing.
I have been reflecting on the comment ever since. It made me happy. I love a compliment, and I was honored to learn that someone was reading my blog.
I have been struggling with the idea of me being courageous. It is not the first time someone has told me this.
I can clearly recall taking a walk in Juneau with a friend and colleague while we were waiting for a flight to Gustavus after high seas kept us on board a cruise ship all the way to Ketchikan.
She told me she thought I was brave to leave my husband and move to Alaska alone in December. I told her that had I known how difficult the move would be, I was not sure I would have made the same decision.
Deep down, I could not imagine having made any other choice. I was on a path.
I do not consider myself a particularly brave person.
I am more determined and stubborn than brave. Maybe my stubbornness has been confused with courage? When my mind is set on something, I am not easily deterred.
I am beginning to think of courage as a form of self-acceptance. The more aware and accepting of my self I become, the less I am willing to hide that self or pretend to be something different.
It has taken most of my years on this planet to get to this point, and I still have a long way to go.
There is a delicate balance between self-acceptance and arrogance. Somewhere along my path, I have learned to make disclaimers and statements that communicate an apology to the greater world for the kind of person I am.
It is so strange. I hear the words come out and think to my self, “Why am I apologizing?”
At the same time, I worry that if I show confidence, it will be seen as bravado. And what if I am wrong? What if my confidence is perceived as false?
I will keep writing and ruminating. I will continue to listen to my own inner voice and try to align the inner words with those I share with the outer world. I will continue to work on giving my self permission to be me, no apologies or disclaimers.
I have found that my mind and body do not fair well when I try do be something different. There are realms of my life where this is necessary, but it is my hope that I can eventually disentangle from them. This kind of practice is unsustainable and unhealthy.
It is my hope that in sharing who I am, I may give others the courage to accept who they are and to share that beautiful person with the rest of the world and with me.