Makes Me Feel Brave

When you look at the world what do you see? When you look at yourself, how do you feel? These are two questions that seem to coincide for me. Oftentimes what I see in the world is a reflection of how I view myself or a reminder of how I should feel. Some of the deepest and most challenging things I have learned about myself came from observing my surroundings. I've always related to small and seemingly insignificant aspects in nature, and the older I get the more I understand why.

My family and friends never fell short in communicating how much I was valued, but for one reason or another I struggled to see myself in the same light. Feeling unimportant and cowardly has always come naturally to me, but somehow noticing the single leaf holding on to a branch or the little birds that hum a melody regardless of who's listening causes me to reconsider those feelings every time. When you take a moment to see the world as they do, nothing looks the same. The tiny violets sprouting in a coarse field and the scattered pebbles sitting high on a mountain - what could they contribute? The gentle shell perched on crashing water's edge - a wave could sweep in any moment and wash it away, so why bother? At first glance these things may seem trivial, but what I've come to realize is that no matter the expanse of their perceived influence, at least they all have the courage to just "be". To be what they are, where they are, with no reservations and to persevere because that's all they know. They live day to day in the most common yet unexpected places and face trials in their own way - showing us all what it looks like to be brave. Teaching us we're not alone, and our efforts are not useless.

We may be a grain of sand in comparison to the vastness of the universe, but that doesn't have to determine the size of our impact. As the days rush by and we find ourselves approaching a new year, challenge yourself to look for those small glimpses of perspective, wherever they may be. Don't be afraid to face the life you've been given, and face it with all the strength and courage of the small things.

If this humble flower can grow and be beautiful where it's planted, so can I.