(Day 2 of the A-Z challenge.)
Boldness is an interesting concept. To be bold is to swallow your fears and step into the unknown. Sometimes it is swallowing your pride and doing something you wouldn’t have done otherwise. It can be putting aside your past convictions and standing up for what is right. It is doing anything that brings you out of your comfort zone.
Being bold can be one of the hardest things to accomplish. But it is something expected of us, and it always has been. Even the cavemen were required to be bold, otherwise they wouldn’t get their dinner. But today, has it become almost cliche?
People seem to be reluctant to share their vulnerabilities, or to even admit that they have them. We are constantly told, through the media (news, movies, etc.) that we should always be strong, and bold, and not let anything get in our way. We should be able to walk over hot coals at all times. We should at least appear stronger than we are. There is nothing really wrong with this, in my opinion, except that we have a lot to live up to. Some days, I feel vulnerable, a little anxious, and sometimes scared, but I push these feelings down because I am supposed to be strong, bold. But some days, I just want to lie in my bed and sleep because I’m exhausted, or cry because I’m – heaven forbid – feeling something, or spend time with my cats, cuddling. Sometimes I’m a softie like that, and I think that’s okay. But it’s especially okay because I’m a woman.
One example we’ve all grown up with is the idea that men should always be bold, and strong, and, well, manly. This is a topic that has been discussed until the cows came home, and it’s still being discussed even then. And because of the discussion, it’s become more acceptable for men to show their emotions. To show they’re human, with feelings. I think this is great. There is still a long way to go, but I think the dialogue has caused steps in the right direction. As far as I can tell, boys are being raised – at least, around me – to be gentler, to express their feelings, to talk about them instead of going with force to resolve things. Hopefully most of those boys will not grow up to be men who feel they always must be bold. Hopefully they will grow up in a world that accepts them for being sensitive, and sometimes vulnerable.
Or perhaps, that’s a form of boldness as well. Being vulnerable in a rushed, stretched-too-thin, hyperactive world. Being able to express your emotions without worrying what others will think about you expressing them. Being able to say, “I’m tired. I’m stretched too thin. And I need you to listen to me when I say this because something has to change.” Or being able to say, “I feel hurt when you say those things. Let me tell you why.” And then standing your ground.
I know I have been in situations where I have wanted to back down because I was scared, or because I felt like I didn’t have any more fight in me. But I boldly went forward. Sometimes the act of going forward was actually, in a way, giving myself up to the unknown. It takes a lot of guts to do that, no matter how spent you might feel.
I think boldness can be gentle, but it also makes you stronger. I hope that in our boldest moments, we can do so with poise and respect, and never give up.
***This post is part of the Blogging from A-Z April challenge. Starting with A, every post in April will be about a topic starting with a letter of the alphabet, consecutively. For more information, please visit the official page.***