The month of May is connected to growth and spring. Today is May 1st and I can tell you right now for the last four months I have had the most growth and the longest spring that I have ever experienced in my life. My life’s been filled with highs and lows over the last couple of months. There have been times that I felt like the pressure would surely overtake me. Then there were times when the blessings just overflowed. However, the more I take time to reflect, the more certain I am that this is just the way of life. There are no shortcut to greatness. You have to walk through the wilderness and the garden at the same time.
So tonight, I want to briefly talk about brave face. Now you probably are wondering “what the hell is Vanita talking about?” Yes, it is true I do have my #ownbrandofcrazy. And yes, I know there is a fellow blogger, editor or writer somewhere cringing because I put an italicized-bolded hashtag in the middle of this blog. But guess what? My blog. My rules. Okay let me get back to the definition of brave face. If you are a woman who is remotely responsible for other people, places or things outside of yourself you know brave face well. Let me give you a few examples:
- The face you make when people ask how many children you have. You say none. Then they ask why. Knowing in the back of your mind this issue is causing tension between you and your mate.
- The face you make when your children ask what is wrong as you try to balance your bank account with the feelings of anxiety, frustration and worry in the pit of your stomach.
- The face you make at work to your colleagues after you have been up all night working on the master plan to create a better life for your family.
- The face you make at church when the pastor is driving down your lane in a sermon, but you don’t want others to know you are suffering in silence.
Yes, that face. The brave face. I am here declaring that as we grow up and spring forth in the month of May that we, especially us mamas stop with the brave face. That face holds pain, hurt, toxins and crows feet. We need to get real about asking for help. We are not weak. We are not needy. We need help. We do a disservice to ourselves and others when we try to fake it ’til we make it. If we keep putting on the brave face we may never make it to the promise land. Or at least be too damn tired and worn out to enjoy it.
This can be the Year of Yes and the Year of No. We can choose to have a Daring Greatly mantra and a I Am Scared As Hell moment. Who told us we had to choose? When did society, your narrative, or your family help you develop the brave face? Can you remember the first brave face you saw as a child?
After reading this I want you to follow these instructions. Close your eyes. Take in and let our three deep breaths. Say the phrase brave face. Whose face do you see? Release yourself and any other faces you see of this burden.
Your future self will thank you!
In honor of Mother’s Day please drop a message in the comment sections about how or why your mother, grandmother or signifcant woman in your life put on the brave face.