I’ve been following Mamamiaaus on Instagram and reading women’s posts about accepting yourself and baring it all in a bikini for summer no matter how you look. One post really resonated with me about ‘being brave’.
She has a really good point. Now I find myself criticising any reference of ‘brave’.
There’s a hilarious parody of The Greatest Showman ‘This is me’ by Mother’s. The lyrics include:
The laundry is piled all around
I’ll be brave
I’ll keep calm
And I’ll sing the clean up song
Laundry is not brave, to me. However, I think that brave is really personal -what’s brave to one person might not be brave to another. I’m not scared of spiders but to someone terrified of them, dealing with a spider probably required them to be brave!
I was given a book for Christmas: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace. It’s a collection of poems spanning her life that includes loneliness, abuse, disorders, trauma, diseases and love! It has a trigger warning at the start and a dedication “thank you for inspiring me to be the girl who survived.” This princess was brave. Not only did she survive, she wrote a book:
Our personal definition of brave needs to evolve and develop over time. It’s only brave to deal with a spider for so long, maybe the first few times. I believe that as resilience and strength develops you can face more and more obstacles and become ‘braver.’
As per the description above from Mamamiaaus, I’m brave dealing with a incurable, complex disease (battling a chronic illness- type 1 diabetes). When people say they are terrified of needles, I feel brave. When I can’t get my blood sugars under control and I’m so sick of it all, I feel I’m strong, because I have to be. If I don’t do it, I die. Is that brave?
Did any of you watch Andrew Denton’s interview with Amanda Lindhout? She was a Canadian journalist in Somalia in 2008 and endured physical atrocities after being kidnapped and regularly abused. She was held in captivity for 15 months! She came out of it alive and now lives by the mantra “I choose peace. I choose freedom. I choose forgiveness.” The only way she made it through was with resilience and optimism. She was bloody brave.
Fighting for a better life inspires bravery. These warrior women save others.
The princess can save herself but if you can be inspired by others I think you will find that your bravery will go off the chart!
Are these women being brave wearing a bikini? Yes, they are being brave for themselves. I’m proud of them for challenging the skinny social norms and being happy with who they are. They might inspire others to be brave to wear a bikini. You have to save yourself before you can save others. What’s more inspiring for me at the moment is the hardships that others have had to endure. Take Malala Yousafzai’s new book- We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World. Imagine what these women have had to endure! Thinking about their lives, I’m not brave injecting insulin each day. That’s easy in comparison, I’ve got this. Now, what else can I face…. onwards!