Right around the time she turned 23 months old, my Brennan developed a healthy fear of elevators. Maybe it was the enclosed spaces, maybe it was the feeling of weightlessness that occurs right as you reach your floor, maybe it was that one of the first times she was ever required to ride one was when my mom brought her up to the 5th floor of the hospital where, in the maternity ward, her Daddy and I eagerly waited with her newborn baby sister, ready to introduce the sure-to-be best friends. A little too much of a world-rocking event projected into the closing of the elevator doors, perhaps?
Either way, from that moment forward, the closing of the doors was met with screams of terror. When there wasn’t screaming, there was clawing up our legs, lifting high off the ground until she was safely in our arms. Ellie in one arm, Brennan in the other, myself feeling like SuperMom with biceps of steel carrying my two girls while navigating the changing balance of an elevator.
A little after she changed from simply three years old to the oh-so-noteworthy Three-And-A-Half, once again we were riding in an elevator, and once again the fear struck. Now, with her baby sister requiring more of my strength and effort, the happy compromise that we had reached in our Conquering Of The Elevator was for me to hold Ellie on my hip and Brennan to stand on my feet, clinging to my waist with her hands. I heard her take her Deep Breaths that we use when we need to see things more clearly, but still she clung.
I think I’m going to be brave today.
And just as sure as she made her declaration, she hopped off of my feet and rode that elevator with all the Brave she could assemble.
The Brave gathered around her, building the fortress, calling in the reinforcements. I could see their strength rise.
She even did a happy dance when we exited the elevator, celebrating her Brave that was now coursing through her veins.
“Mama?” she had said, “I think I’m going to be brave today.”
What if we, too, declare I think I’m going to be brave today.
It doesn’t have to be: Brave for All The Things, or Brave for the entire week, or Brave until our kids graduate high school.
It is just I think I’m going to be brave today.
And then be brave today.
And then be brave tomorrow.
And then be brave for tomorrow’s tomorrow.
What is it that you need to be brave about today?
Have you been dreaming of taking a leap of faith?
Do you want to apply to that job?
Do you long to submit that project?
Was it simply waking up this morning that summoned all of your Brave?
Do you need to have a Hard Conversation?
Do you want to follow the stirring in your heart to Start Something New?
What stirs your soul? What, in the heart of your hearts, sings the loudest in the quiet? What is it that makes your heart sing?
Find that and you will tap into a deep well that will spring forth hope and purpose and joy.
Even if that thing requires a bit of brave. Even if that thing requires a bit of a leap of faith.
Do That Thing that stirs your soul.
Go Be brave.
Take a note from my Brennan girl and declare I think I’m going to be brave today. You even have my permission to do a happy dance afterwards.
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