Discover more from The Way I See It by Marcia Ramirez
We Can Do Brave Things
Facing our fears to live authentically
My mother was terrified of horses. When she was a little girl, she saw a terrible accident involving a horse and she never got over it. Because of that, she would never let me near a horse which instilled a fear of horses in me. I remember one day in 5th grade asking if I could go to a friend’s farm to ride horses and my mother screamed “NO” so quickly it jolted me. I never asked her to ride again. As a young adult, I did ride horses a few times with friends, but I never really felt comfortable and it’s been years since I got on one.
My daughter-in-law, Emily has a beautiful horse named Mercedes. They call her “Merry”. My granddaughter, Charlotte thinks Merry is HER horse, of course! We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood that actually has a horse farm in it, so it’s very easy for Emily and Charlotte to go take care of Merry everyday. Charlotte takes carrots down for all the horses and she enjoys brushing Merry and taking care of her. I love it that Emily is instilling a love of animals in Charlotte and Oliver. I believe God entrusted humans to care for all animals, so teaching that love and respect for them is so important. I believe it is holy work.
On Sunday, Mike and I rode our bikes down to the farm and let Charlotte show us around the barn and introduce us to Merry and some of the other horses. Charlotte rode Merry and then Mike rode her. And then Charlotte asked me to ride her. At first I declined because of my fear, but then Emily asked Charlotte if she wanted to ride again and I heard her little voice say, “No, I want Gwanma to wide Mewry.” At that moment, I realized that I didn’t want Charlotte to think her “Gwanma” was too scared to try new things. I wanted Charlotte to see me as being brave, so I said, “Ok Charlotte, I’ll ride Merry”.
Emily sweetly offered to lead Merry as I rode so I felt safe and I’m so glad that I did it! It was pretty cool being on top of such a magnificent creature, who graciously allowed me to ride her for a few minutes. I was happy to see Charlotte watching me as I rode, her little smile cheering me on.
That may not sound like a big deal to you guys, but everyone’s “brave” looks differently, right? What you might think is a piece of cake, others would be so fearful of. I have had many people ask me, “How can you get up on stage and perform in front of thousands of people and not be terrified?” Well… for me, that’s not a big deal. However, ask me to get on a horse and… LOL
I think I came out of the womb a cautious soul. Being “adventurous” always sounded like danger was involved to me so it was usually a hard pass. As a kid, I always chose the safest route towards most things, and I still lean that way as an adult, but I’m starting to realize how important it is to take some risks now and then. I think it gives us confidence in ourselves when we do things that we thought might be beyond our abilities.
I’ve been noticing that other people in my life are choosing to do brave things and it’s been inspiring. My friendhas been documenting a new and exciting project he is being brave about. You can follow along on his journey HERE.
My dear friend, Ramona is bravely choosing to lead again in an area that she had put aside for awhile. She has expressed her nervousness but I KNOW she’s going to bless so many with her abilities and I’m excited to see her jumping in.
I have a friend who has complicated medical issues and watching her get out of bed each morning to face the day with a smile is SO BRAVE to me.
I have a friend going through a deep loss, and watching her navigate her grief in a healthy way is SO BRAVE to me.
Another friend is a single mother who is struggling financially. She reaches out for help, not worrying what others will think of her, but putting her family’s needs first — that is SO BRAVE to me.
Friends who choose to speak their truth about deconstruction, even while being ostracized by some in their previous faith communities — SO BRAVE.
Friends and family who have chosen to come out publicly as part of the LGBTQ+ community — SO BRAVE.
Moms and Dads who are fighting for reasonable gun control in this country so their children are safer in schools — SO BRAVE.
When I see others around me choosing to put aside their fears to do things that are important to them, it’s always inspiring to me.
It means doing what you think is the right thing to do, even if it’s hard. Even if it goes against the grain. Even if it might get you criticized or even ostracized. I think at the heart of bravery and vulnerability is the choice to DO what your heart is telling you to do, and BE who your heart is telling you to be - no matter what. Living authentically takes BRAVERY… but it’s something I think we should all strive for.
I saw an Instagram post by Glennon Doyle last week that summed it up really well for me. She told the story of a family that was next to her at the store. She heard the dad say to his kid, “Well, it’s brave to go on a roller coaster. And it’s brave to say you don’t want to go on a roller coaster.” Doyle went on to say this about that exchange:
“If one wants to ride and does, that’s brave.
If one does not want to ride and doesn’t, that’s brave.
Brave is doing - on the outside - whatever your insides want to do.
No single action is inherently brave - the honoring of the inner compass instead of outer expectations is the braveness.
Brave can never be judged by the crowd. Sometimes we are the only one who knows we’ve been brave.
And that is enough. That is everything.”
You might not think you are very brave, but I’ll bet if you think a little bit about it, you do brave things all the time. They don’t have to be big things. But I think when we are brave in the little things, it makes us braver in the big too.
I rode a horse this week. What was your latest “brave” moment? I’d love to hear it! OR… you can choose to keep it to yourself. That’s ok too. That doesn’t make it any less brave. Just as long as you give yourself props. Because more than anything, I think it’s important to recognize bravery in ourselves.
Love ya’ll, brave ones… M
Speaking of horses. In case you haven’t heard, The Gentle Barn is doing great work to save the poor carriage horses in New York City. It always hurts my heart to see those magnificent creatures being treated so badly. Not only are they offering a horse sanctuary for those horses to go, but they are helping the carriage owners get battery powered carriages to ride people around, which would be easier and make them more money. It’s a win/win! If you’d like to support them in their efforts, please go to www.gentlebarn.org/newyork
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