“Courage is Contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better
and the world a little braver,” Brene Brown
I love that quote from Brene Brown, I love a lot of her quotes. I have read her book “Daring Greatly” and it was amazing. My journey out of a place of shame, discouragement, and co-dependence has been encouraged along the way by so many; friends and family who have stood by me, supported me, and loved me for who I am, some key authors who have written books that have guided my heart and life, speakers that I felt were speaking directly to my heart, and my own soul crying out for love and acceptance. I had wandered deep into a swamp of shame, of giving up myself to make others happy, of thinking I wasn’t good enough or deserving enough to be treated well. I tried to manage my life in that swamp, to feel good about myself, to have my feeling and opinions respected, and to raise my children to be free and not burdened by the same life I was living. But how could I do that when I did not have my own freedoms? When I was not being treated with respect and love from those around me? When my shame was guiding me deeper into that swamp?
As I slowly walked out of my shame swamp, I began to feel free, to feel loved and accepted, to know I am enough. I began to have the strength to stand up for myself and not allow others to put shame back on me. I have gotten away from bad relationships and embraced new ones. I have reestablished relationships with loved ones I had been forced to push away. I am thankful for so much in my life now and for the place that I was because, without the place I was in, without the hurt I walked through, I would not have found the freedom I have now.
I try to live daily in this new-found freedom. But some days are hard and I lose sight of where I have been. Life can be a struggle of daily busyness, responsibilities, hardships and burdens, worries and anxieties, and fatigue and weariness. I want to have the courage to rise up and be brave enough to face those hard days. I don’t want to be trapped in those struggles or to let them bring me down. I am realizing that I can make the choice to have courage, to be brave. I have the power to make changes in my life that will keep me free from shame, that will help me love others better, that will help me raise my children to be free from the burden of shame in their lives.
I will continue to learn, to read, to listen, to be brave, to love and to live. I will do the things I was meant to do and be the person I was meant to be. I want to share with others the things I have learned. I know that my story and my courage can help and encourage others.
I want to encourage you be who you were meant to be and do what you were meant to do. To know that you are brave and you can choose courage every day. To know that you are valued and you are enough.
We have the courage to grow, to learn, to find more freedom in our lives, to accept love and to love well. Our lives and stories can inspire others. And, as Brene Brown says, we can make everyone around us a little better and a little braver.
Here are some of the books that have helped encourage me through my walk toward freedom.