by Juanima Hiatt
There are so many things wrong in our world, but one thing that sticks out to me is hopelessness. I see it everywhere I go, and it always strikes me at my core. People can be so quick to judge others who are suffering. They yell at a homeless man to get a job, but have they ever taken 5 or 10 minutes out of their day to hear his story? Do you ever stop to hear anyone’s story? Or are you too busy?
I’ve been guilty of that, too. I’ve been quick to make assumptions and judgments, but then I stop myself. I remember that they have a story, too, and maybe what drove them to their situation is that no one else cared about it. Or them. Yes, sometimes getting to a sad state is because of poor choices and wrong behaviors, but haven’t we all been there?
It’s part of the human condition, after all. We ALL make mistakes.
But the key is how we handle our mistakes. What makes some of us stay down after we’ve fallen? What makes some of us hide in the darkness of our existence and deny ourselves as human beings?
Our beliefs drive our behaviors.
Think about that the next time you’re in an argument with someone. What is your belief behind your defensiveness? And what are the beliefs of a bully? It’s probably not your first guess. You’ve got to look deeper. A child is the product of their upbringing, and it’s rarely as simple as it being the parent’s fault. It’s usually a complex combination of a child’s exposure to wrong or bad behaviors and a parent’s inexperience with how to handle things.
Sometimes it IS the parents.
But anger is the not the root issue. It’s pain.
Criminals or teenagers who drop out of school, run away from home, and turn to surviving on the streets don’t end up there because they’re happy in life. They feel angry, rejected, unloved, worthless, and full of pain. That leads to feeling empty, numb, and void of hope.
I’ve been there myself.
Existing in that darkness has given me profound compassion for others who live there, but coming out of that darkness made me realize two really important truths: we ALL have untapped inner strength that is accessible in times of hopelessness, and often that bright light of freedom is just on the other side of the wall we’re pounding our fists against.
The tragedy is when a person gives up just before the point of breaking through. It happens way too often. It almost happened to me.
At any given time we are vulnerable to the harsh and cruel side of life. Our beliefs and our upbringing are all fundamental to the way we respond to those hard times. What is the message you tell yourself when life pulls the rug out from under you? Are you quick to pull yourself back up? Or do you linger in the pain of it because you feel you somehow deserve it?
I started Do Brave because I want to help people find their inner strength, their beauty, and the hope they need to break through their walls so that they can live a happy, productive life. My two daughters and my husband joined in because we each believe that ALL people have amazingness inside them. Some people just need a little help accessing it.
And that’s our mission.
We want to inspire people to push through their fears and perceived limitations to live a life of courage and total authenticity. To accept and love who they are, with all their flaws and cracks.
We all have them, after all.
It’s in accepting ourselves – and all that we are – that we find the strength to Do Brave.