A few weeks ago during the Central Park Zoo Volunteer Orientation I introduced myself to a room of 20 people who shared the same passion for wildlife. I included a personal story about when I drove to the Mojave Desert to hang out with Wolves (my favorite animal) at the Wolf Sanctuary and got to hold their giant paws in my hands.
During a short break one of the trainees approached me and to tell me how brave that was of me to be in a pen with animals as dangerous as wolves.
It got me thinking and I quickly responded:
“You know, I don’t think it has anything to do with bravery when there is absolutely no ounce of fear in me when I’m in the presence of wolves. I love and appreciate them so much that I don’t think it’s me being brave. And I think they feel that.”
Perhaps I’m a lunatic for not being afraid in the presence of wolves, sharks or snakes but either way it’s not bravery.
“Bravery and fear are cousins believe it or not. Bravery is the act of feeling the fear and charging through it! No matter how terrified you are of the unknown.”
- Bravery is when I decided to move across the country to New York City without a safety net and despite the feelings of unease and occassional anxiety attacks.
- Bravery is when the man or woman decide to disclose their true feelings to their new sweetheart while terrified of rejection.
- Bravery is when someone decides to stop wearing their “bullshit” mask and disclose who they really are
- Bravery is when someone leaves that unhealthy relationship or secure but unsatisfying job to find what’s right for them while tossing themselves into the unknown.
That, my friends, is BRAVE. People who go against the typical human instinct of remaining in the safety of complacency and mediocrity and stretching themselves as far as they can go. It’s when someone uses that higher wisdom and vision for what’s beyond the here and now and beyond the instant gratification and fast fixes.
The beautiful thing is that I see it more now that I put myself in this huge, gritty, dynamic, ever-changing city! People are dropping their slow and easy lives back home and challenging themselves here. Human resilience doesn’t fail to inspire me and I’m seeing it every day.
I’d be lying if I told you I was brave and making it happen all on my own. No one’s an island and I have to thank the supportive and inspiring community of Live Your Legend, Dreamer&Doers, my new and awesome friends from Young Living, Wendy, Jinna, my beautiful mama, my encouraging friends from home and many more.