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Thoughts on being brave

A few months ago, I found myself standing on the edge of a decent size cliff in Lake Powell.  As I peered over the edge, a memory from 25 years earlier flooded my mind.

 

My family was in Lava Hot Springs in Idaho for a family reunion.  There were a few diving boards and 3 platforms of varying heights.  I was 9 years old and not a great swimmer (I’m still not a great swimmer).  But I sat and watched people jumping off those platforms and I decided I had to do it.  Because that’s just how I am.

So I climbed up the very long ladder, walked across the platform, and peered over the edge.  It looked much higher from up there.  But I had committed.  And there was no way I was climbing back down that ladder.  There was no way I was quitting.  So I stood on the edge for awhile, stomach turning, legs shaking.  And then I backed up.  And someone else would jump.  Then I’d walk to the edge, peer over, try to get courage, and then back up.  This lasted for probably close to 30 minutes.  Walk to the edge, peer over, walk back.  Walk to the edge…..

After being up there for so long, nearly every person at the pool that day was aware of what was going on.  And they were all……waiting.  Waiting to see if I’d jump or if I’d climb back down.  My parents never came up after me.  And I don’t remember them encouraging me to jump or climb back down.  They  just waited.  Like everyone else.  To see what I would do.

I don’t remember why, or how, but eventually I stepped off the edge.  And miraculously, someone got a picture of it.

{9 year old me stepping off the platform at Lava Hot Springs}

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{a view from further away to show varying heights}

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Because I had been up there for so long, and the entire pool became invested in watching me jump, when my head finally came up out of the water, all of the people at the pool were cheering and clapping.  I don’t recall being embarrassed.  I was just relieved I finally did it.  I did not go back up for another jump.

 

Fast forward 25ish years and I found myself in a very similar situation.  Only this time there was no crowd.  Just me and my family.  And my 15 year old niece who I couldn’t let show me up (that girl is WAY too crazy for her own good).  And my husband who so kindly said “either jump or climb back down, but this boat is leaving”.  And so again, I walked to the edge and backed up.  And then after a much shorter time period than the first experience, I jumped.

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Both of these experiences got me thinking a lot about what it means to be brave.  And then, like it was meant just for me, Glennon from Momastery wrote a brilliant post on this very subject.  She said:

 

“Over time I have come to believe that brave does not mean what we think it does. It does not mean “being afraid and doing it anyway.” Nope. Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and DOING AS IT SAYS. Regardless of what the rest of the world is saying. Brave implies WISDOM. Brave people are not simply those who JUMP every time. They do not necessarily “do it anyway.” Brave people block out all the yelling voices and listen to the deepest voice inside the quietest, stillest place in their heart. If that voice says JUMP, they jump. And if that voice says TURN AROUND – they turn around, and they hold their head high. Often the one who turns around shows GREAT BRAVERY, because she has been true to herself even in the face of pressure to ignore her still, small voice and perform for the crowd….

Brave is: To Thine Own Self Be True. And Brave parents say: I trust you, little one – to Be Still and Know. I’ll back you up.”

(You can read the entire article here.  It’s a good one)

In both instances, I wanted to jump.  I wanted that adventure.  I wanted that memory.  If I didn’t, I definitely have the kind of personality where I would have never gone up in the first place.

The take away message–listen to the voice.  And be mindful that my children have their OWN voice and if I can teach them to listen to that, they’ll be okay.  Sometimes the voice says “jump” and sometimes it says “turn around”.  Feel the fear and decide if the voice is telling us to “do it anyway” or if the voice is telling us to run.  All we have to do is listen.  And trust. And then DO as the voice says.

 

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  • Betsy

    Hi! Found you through your project life app tutorial and have spent the last two days devouring your blog! I am a SAHM of two kiddos, a self taught lover off photography and I have a newfound drive to document our every day for my kiddos. I love your style of writing and can’t wait to read more! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      Betsy,
      Wow!!! Thank you so much. It’s so nice to hear positive feedback from people. Sometimes I put things out in the blog world and have NO IDEA what people think. I’m writing what I want to write, but it’s still nice to know that it’s helping people because that’s the whole point! I really appreciate you taking time to comment and for your kind words.ReplyCancel

  • I seriously love this, Lindsay. And, not just because I’m a big wuss. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I love that someone took that picture of you doing that jump when you were little. It added so much to the message!ReplyCancel

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