Beautiful Dollbaby

Beautiful Dollbaby
Our Angel in Heaven

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bravery Redefined

This weekend at a women's retreat, the speaker called me brave.  I told her that I don't know what on earth gave her that idea because I'm not.  I told her that my husband literally has had to dress me and pick me up.  I told her I'm the farthest thing from brave.  Later she told me that I was brave because I was putting one foot in front of the other.

I still don't think I'm brave but she got me to thinking.  Maybe my definition of brave is wrong.  When I think about bravery I think about the thousands of men fighting for our country.  I think about a firefighter putting his life on the line to rescue a child trapped in a house.  You get the picture.  But I guess the truth is there are many forms that bravery takes.  After all, I think a woman leaving an abusive man is brave.  I think a husband raising his children alone is brave.  Again, you get the picture.  There are so many varieties of bravery.

So, maybe I am brave and I just can't see it because I'm not looking at myself.  In fact, in looking back at a dream I had just this afternoon after the retreat, I guess I can kind of see it.  You see I have been suffering from nightmares and I would classify this dream as a nightmare.  I dreamed that I was watching myself give birth.  I was screaming at the doctor that this isn't fair because she's going to be still born.  The doctor came over to me and said that it isn't fair but I'd get through it.  I watched my daughter's head being born.  I screamed in my dream as I was watching myself go through this.  Watching myself endure this horrible experience.

The thing is, I felt like my dream and I still do.  I can't believe it happened.  I can't believe that I am going through this.  I am screaming inside.  I am screaming for my daughter.  In that same dream I actually dreamed that someone said something about my daughter and I fought for her.  Literally went after him and started getting in a fist fight and yelling match.  I've never gotten in a fist fight in my waking life.  I was screaming about how unfair it is and how wrong it is.  I was screaming to defend my daughter's short but real life.  I was standing up for her and me.  And the other people in my dream let me.  They let me get angry and question things.

After this dream I realized that maybe I am brave.  Maybe bravery isn't knowingly going into a fire or a battlefield.  Maybe bravery is enduring a really crappy situation.  Maybe bravery is willing to acknowledge that you're not brave.  Maybe bravery is willing to admit that I am completely and utterly broken.  Maybe bravery is crying my eyes out.  Maybe bravery is getting a shower and getting dressed.

Maybe I am so wrapped up in my own pain I can't see what other people see.  I can't see how strong I really am because I feel so weak.  I feel beaten and bruised.  Tattered and torn.  The retreat speaker gave an example of a fruit tree not bearing fruit.  This person she knew tried everything to get this tree to bear it's fruit and finally called a help line.  They told her to do everything she'd already done.  She asked for a supervisor and he told her to try one more thing.  He told her that the roots of the tree weren't being stimulated and that when she did what he recommended she better make sure the neighbors weren't around to watch because they'd think she was crazy.  He told her to take a broom stick and beat the base of the tree with all she had.  To take all her aggression out on that tree.  So she did and the next year it had fruit.

The speaker went on to say that if that tree could speak it would probably not say "I know this beating is good for me so bring it on! Come on hit me again! Bring it lady!"  She said that instead the tree was probably wanting to scream, "Stop!!! I can't take this! What is the point? Why me?" She said the tree couldn't see to the future to see that it will bear fruit because of this beating.

I feel like this tree.  I don't know what kind of fruit I'm going to bear.  I don't know what God has in store.  I'm the one screaming, "Why me? What is the point? This hurts! Knock it off! I can't handle this!!!! GOD!!!! WHY ME????????" I'm not strong. I'm not brave.  Why me.  Why me.  But the speaker is right.  Something good has to come out of this crappy thing.  Loosing my daughter has left a permanent scar.  I can't see the future.  I can't see God's greater picture.  Right now, I'm the screaming tree that doesn't understand why I'm being beaten.  The only thing I can hold on to is hope that some kind of fruit will come out of this torment.

Am I brave? Right now I don't feel brave.  But maybe the speaker was right.  Maybe I am.  Maybe every step I take makes me brave.  Maybe getting up every day in spite of my pain makes me brave.

I will tell you this.  I don't feel brave.  I feel broken.  I feel beaten.  I feel like the only reason I'm standing is because of my husband and my family.

But maybe, just maybe I'm braver than I give myself credit score.  Maybe years down the line I'll see it.  But right now, I sure don't feel it.

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