I had to take my youngest daughter to the doctor today for her annual checkup, and the highly spirited, mischief-making four-year-old was taken down by the nurse with three syringes. Yep. Shots.
With her pants down around her knees, my daughter bravely sat on my lap with her arms crossed over her chest with me positioning her for the famous bear hug. The nurse gently cleaned the chunky outer thigh, and as the smell of alcohol reached her stuffy nose, I could see fear creeping into her eyes. She remained brave as she breathed hard through the first two shots, but the last one brought a sound from her heart that I wasn’t expecting. She was still trying to be so brave, and the wail came through her upside down pout-ty lips. I hugged her tight and kept whispering encouraging words to her, and watched her suck in her breath as she slid off my lap and pulled up her pants.
Now, sitting alone in my office and getting ready for a client to come in, I started to remember all the times I had taken my little ones in to get shots. Today was maybe the last time that was going to happen. After five kids, this was my last. Time and time again, I held my babies while having to watch them endure pain. Holding back the tears while catching my breath I hugged them and tried to comfort them, when in reality, I was comforting myself as well.
What have you had to be brave about in your life? My example is just one of many. When we have to go in for a procedure that we know could be painful but we know that it will be for the best, we must be brave. When staring a difficult relationship in the eye, we must be brave. When we have to watch someone we love endure pain, we must be brave.
Sometimes though…it’s ok to NOT be brave. It’s ok to let the tears run down your face. It’s ok to cry out to God or the universe and ask where they are! It’s ok to have a glass of wine and popcorn while watching your favorite movie! Ok…I threw that last one in. But it’s still OK!
You don’t always have to be the brave one. Sometimes it’s even more brave to be vulnerable. What is most important is not living in the pain, but pulling yourself out of it and moving forward when the times comes. When you are ready, wipe the tears and blow your nose. Smile, and thank God for your blessings. Take a little self care, and know that you are blessed. And then, start a new day.