brave is loving myself first

The Bravery Files

One of the fun things about this strange blogging world is getting to know new people from different countries, different life stages, different backgrounds. Joanne sent me this post on what brave looks like for her now, and it was such a good reminder for me that living a brave life is something that never ends – we will always be challenged with new situations and new possibilities. What is important is whether we approach them in courage or in fear.


I grew up with a very fearful mom and an outgoing, salesmanship driven father. It was an oxymoron of sorts that even to this day I have trouble reconciling.

My mom might have inherited her “fearful” genes from her mother, as my grandmother too was very overprotective. My father’s attitude was “Go Get Him”, meaning he was a high achiever, a real go getter and a fantastic salesperson.

The result of this is I have pushed myself all my life and been afraid the entire time. It is only recently that I have begun to really look inward at myself, to face my fears and realize most of them are not really grounded in reality. This has been a huge wake up call.

So I have been challenging myself lately to Be Brave. I went kayaking recently, something I would never ever have done before. It was a wonderful, fantastically exhilarating experience. I changed jobs a year ago too and went to something completely different. Like Fiona, I am an event planner but the job I was working was too stressful. I traded it for an admin job that I like just fine.

With my extra time I began to blog. I started my blog in November of 2011. I am a bit technology challenged and though my son is majoring in computer science, he does not live at home currently. So I was stuck, plodding about, figuring out appearances, themes, website registration and the whole lot. I think I have done just fine.

I have redone my website theme three times. Each time it looks a little better to me. Recently, I took the brave move of printing out my favorite spiritual blog posts, following a manuscript submission process to a “T” and submitting a book idea to a publisher. I don’t even have an agent.

I decided what do I have to lose? Nothing. And I have everything to gain. If by some miracle my book idea is accepted, I have a friend who has an agent I’ll probably call. I’ll ask her to represent me or I’ll spend some time talking with her and see if we’re a good fit. I’ll probably trust my gut on it.

In order to be brave we must go forward through the jungle of our mind, and say “I am worth it, I am capable, I am fabulous!” We must love ourselves first, put ourselves front and center, and wrap our arms around ourselves in a loving hug of approval. When I love myself first, my love for others pours out of me, a gracious gift from God for taking care of myself.

Love yourself today….and the bravery will follow!

Joanne in Kayak
Joanne blogs at Katherine’s Daughter, writing Stories of Grace and Love as her way of sharing her spiritual journey. She has two grown sons and one grandson!

Kayak photo source: William Douglas Smith for National Geographic

Are you interested in guest posting on what brave looks like for you?