- You know deep in your soul that God is for you. No matter what the circumstances.
- You believe vulnerability is necessary. You are willing to do something with no guarantees. You are willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. You are willing to live broken-hearted realizing that the other person’s failings do not define you.
- You believe that what makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful.
- You have the bravery to be imperfect.
- Holy tension is uncomfortable but you lean into it waiting for that holy thing to happen.
- You have connection because you have also chosen authenticity. You are willing to be seen, be vulnerably seen.
- You are able to make a Plan B when Plan A blows up because you have the tenacity about yourself to know that you are worthy of something good happening to you.
- You let go of the “supposed to’s.” Even the “supposed to” about how your life turned out. Or how “God is supposed to…”
- You understand that pain is your beginning. You also know that pain is temporary and will come to end and you will have grown.
- You don’t allow shame to put words into your head. (Those words are lies.)
- You know that forgiveness is a journey and you know you are brave enough to be on that journey even if you are far from the end.
- You recognize that heartache is a signal that you have stumbled upon something worthy in your life.
- You live with contentment because you can declare “I am enough” as I am letting time do its work so I can meet my goals.
- You practice gratitude as a way to bless the world–which also turns your pain into a stepping stone.
- You have created your own defined boundaries about who you are. Not as a wall to keep people away but so you can wholly give of yourself. These boundaries allow you to live BIG, “what Boundaries need to be in place for me to stay in my Integrity to make the most Generous assumptions about you.” (Dr. Brene’ Brown) You love making generous assumptions about people.
- You practice “the world needs the heartbreak you risk.”
- You know that failure means I tried because I am worthy. Bravery is my value so I can try again.
- You make small, deliberate tweaks to your thinking because you choose to give God more credibility than everyone else.
- You know prayer is an act of dependence. You pray often because it is what you can do. You pray because you expect God to do something.
- You know that God has arranged the entire universe to come close to you.
- You used to be surprised at how you view the world and all the brave decisions you are compelled to make until you realized that this is what faith looks like.
- You let your bravery define you. You grow from one brave decision to the next brave decision to the next brave decision.
We are beginning year 3 of this Bravester project. Three years and still growing and learning so much. I must close this checklist with this voice-in-my-head quote. As you know if you are on this journey with me, Dr. Brene’ Brown’s research has brought research to my faith. This has been my lived-out faith for nearly 40 years and then I find this quote and realize I’ve been living it:
Choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify a lot of people—including yourself. One minute you’ll pray that the transformation never stops, and the next minute you will pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time…brave, afraid, and very very alive. –Dr. Brene’ Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
I am brave, afraid, and very very alive. Today I pledge yet again to live slightly braver.