December 25, 2009

Strength and Bravery

This morning I awakened to thoughts of strength and bravery - two of the qualities I valued in the Jake character of the Avatar film. As I thought about the balance of physical and mental strength he developed it became clear that it is out of balance unless paired with bravery. It is one thing to be strong and another to be brave as well - because you can certainly be strong and live in fear.

A willingness to address fears, limitations, mistakes and missteps, to me demonstrates bravery. It is also demonstrated in being able to reach out to others, to go beyond yourself, to embrace relationships, partnerships and community. Strength does not require muscles, although that is one demonstration of being strong. It is also the strength of character, of self and is intermingled with flexibility.

As the quote says, "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." So many people live in fear, they make their bodies strong and they close their minds. That to me is like killing yourself. Opening your heart is bravery and to me that is a celebration of life.