kim brust, kimberly brust, braveryBravery conjures  images of a warrior facing the foe – looking it directly in the eye and having the ability to push the fear aside to face victory or defeat.

I would have described myself as brave for the first 49 years of my life.  Looking at each battleground as just an obstacle to overcome.  My sword was optimism and shield was dogged persistency to learn all I could about my foe.   Whether it was the autism my daughter suffered or the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis my son had, they would not beat me down. To this end I was victorious.

However, at 50 I started to realize that I did not breathe: I felt strangled by the life that was mine.  I was smart, mildly successful in my business, and had done things that I was proud of  but, if asked, could not tell you what I wanted the next 1/2 of my life to be. I could not tell you what I enjoyed, did not have a hobby or a goal to achieve.

What did others think of me?  What did others see in me that maybe I just could not uncover?  For so many reasons, self esteem, fear (and a lot of it), always putting myself last.  Finally, feeling that I had to get to know myself; really take a look at who I am, I began a new journey.

I was so afraid of confrontation, being judged and told I was being ridiculous. The day of this realization, I went to bed for 24 hours trying to deny it.  Eventually, I realized that this was truth; it was who I was.  When I got up out of that bed, I could be a new person, have a fresh start…. I had seen my weaknesses and was determined not to be ruled by these fears again.

I needed courage and bravery to push me through the uncomfortable days ahead.  When judgement was facing me in the mirror, I had to look her in the eye and tell her I was worthy and owed myself the gift of being authentically me.

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