bravery

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Dear Ruthi,

It was so wonderful to see you again. To walk. To talk. To carry my camera. To be fed.

In your last letter, you spoke of matching. What fun I am having in matching your “Big Magic” notes and mine. The overlap is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing them. I am so inspired – Liz’s words, yours, and the font work! Thank you for pointing me back to this book. I needed these words right now. These reminders.

“Without bravery, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their capabilities… Do you have the courage?” (Big Magic ~ Elizabeth Gilbert)

I don’t have the answer. Not to this question. Not to ones you posed in your letter. Not to the ones you posed on Monday.

So many questions. So much silence.

If you pressed me, I would say, “No! I don’t!” And maybe I’d want you to help me believe otherwise. And maybe I’d argue back, “Okay. Fine. But I’m done with exercising it.” And maybe again, I’d want you to help me believe otherwise.

This invitation, trust and vulnerability stuff… it kind of sucks. Please, help me believe otherwise.

I received another reminder today. You might enjoy the whole piece.

“The truth is, sometimes the greatest success is getting back up after we have been knocked down and having the courage to believe one more time. And I would rather be the girl who believes in everything, even if it breaks my heart, than the girl who believes in nothing…

We fall and we get back up and we do it again. And again. And again. Because for every thousand times we fall, there is one where we fly.

Because we remember that… falling hard is the price we pay for loving hard…

Because that’s what real love is, isn’t it? Caring about someone else more than ourself. Allowing ourselves to celebrate the good in the midst of the bad. Knowing that even when we don’t have the answers, sometimes all we need to do is reach out our hand and say “I am here with you. And I always will be.” Believing when it is hard to believe.”

I know a thing or two about loving hard. It’s kind of who I am. Rather, it is entirely who I am. Sometimes, that reaching gets harder and harder when all it touches is air. Sometimes I just don’t know how to reach anymore. Sometimes it is just so painful to believe. I did not realize it was a 1,000 falls to 1 flight. These aren’t odds I’m willing to bet on.

But… but…

To love. To create. Yes. Please. These two. I will step forward – my act of bravery.

Onward! And back to Liz and just another place where our notes and hearts overlap:

“But in order to live this way–free to create, free to explore–you must possess a fierce sense of personal entitlement, which I hope you will learn to cultivate…

you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you’re entitled to at least try…

creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that–merely by being here–you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own…

David Whyte “the arrogance of belonging”…

without it, you will never push yourself out of the suffocating insulation or personal safety and into the frontiers of the beautiful and unexpected…

it is a divine force that will actually take you out of yourself and allow you to engage more fully with life. Because often what keeps you from creative living is your self-absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgment, your crushing sense of self-protection). The arrogance of belonging pulls you out of the darkest depths of self-hatred–not by saying “I am the greatest!” but merely by saying “I am here!”

Hey Ruthi. I am here.

With love,

Jules

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