How to be brave

As brave as Wonder Woman

As brave as Wonder Woman

How to be brave?

How to have grace?

How to pay tribute to an angel?

What words to use when it has been a year?

These are the questions I was asking myself while running up and down the biggest hills I’ve ever run up or down tonight.

How, when you’re running towards a hill that looks insurmountable, do you convince yourself to start running up it? Once you’ve started and your legs, your lungs and your brain are telling you to stop; what makes you finish? And then, once you have finished, what gets you to convince yourself to keep going, tackle a few more hills, maybe a stair run and a few sprints as well? What is that you draw from? What is it that you use to override your body and brain when they are screaming out to stop?

I’m not very brave.

I have known, and do know, some people who are, that’s how I know for certain, that I’m not. I cry often and I regularly choose the easy way out. I can’t be near a picture of a snake, let alone a real one and, even after living on my own for more than a year and a half; I am still scared of the dark.

I don’t possess grace.

I have known and do know some people who do, that’s how I know for certain that I don’t. I talk loudly, swear and say inappropriate things at inappropriate times. I have too many opinions for my own good, I’m stubborn and I am, I’ve been told, quite abrasive at times.

I have tenacity. I have some hard won grit. That helps get me up hills. But more than anything, I am surrounded by some very brave people who exude grace and I’m lucky enough to be inspired by them.

Running up a hill is one thing.

How would you go living an existence that is positive, inspiring and filled with love during extraordinary grief? Some of us might fall into cynicism and self pity… it would be understandable.

To go right down into hell and back and then to go on, not just with your own life, but improve others’ lives at the same time. To continue to live with your heart open…

That’s grace.

That’s bravery.

The bravest, most graceful people I know, the people who inspire me daily, lost their brave, graceful sweet girl a year ago today when she went to join her brave, graceful Aunt.

To these beautiful people, who inspire so many of us every day, I send you all the love I can today. While I know you’ll get through this day, just as you have so many others, I pray that you can rest in each other’s arms and know that, all over the world, people are sending you love and comfort and strength today.

And may all your lights flicker.

2 Responses to “How to be brave”
  1. cj4 says:

    Thanks, Suze, as always, for your beautiful words.

  2. Thank you, bub, for inspiring them. Sending you all the love in the world – always, but especially today. x

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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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