why i'm totally desperate

“I am willing to sound dumb. I am willing to be wrong. I am willing to be passionate about something that isn’t perceived as cool. I am willing to express a theory. I am willing to admit I’m afraid. I’m willing to contradict something I’ve said before. I’m willing to have a knee-jerk reaction, even a wrong one. I’m willing to apologize. I’m perfectly willing to be perfectly human.”   - Donald Miller

Often when someone tells me that I'm brave, my mind fills with all the times I was not not brave -- or nice or honest or generous or whatever.  And I struggle to accept the compliment.  But I appreciate the kind words so I say thank you.

Outside, I smile.  Inside, I wonder.  If they only knew.  I want to be brave and yes, I do things that some perceive as brave.  But not for heroic reasons.   I'm stubborn about doing what I have to do to keep my hope alive.  Does that make me brave?

I feel more desperate than brave.

I don't write my way through fear and dark places because I'm daring, I do this because it's how I survive.   I'm hungry for resonance and connection.  Hungry to see what God can do through me if I stay out of my own way, worship with creativity and let myself be a part of something bigger.  I'm willing to chase the light.

I get high on the possibility of finding someone out there who is on my wavelength.  The hope that my words will find them, touch them, move them.  That is the risk I take, the risk I am addicted to and the one I will keep taking until I can't anymore.    I'm not content to write only in my journal, keeping my words to myself. I have to keep reaching and reaching.   It's a drive from deep inside, like I'm running from something.  Something I'm desperate to get away from.

For years, I lied and pretended and it was toxic and it made me sick.  So now I've stopped poisoning myself and I guess that looks like bravery sometimes and insanity other times.   I'm trying to stop caring about how it looks.    Authenticity is not a marketing strategy for me, it's survival.   It's waking up each day without fear of being found out.  It's being contrary and missing out on certain things because I choose to go my own way.   I've come a long way to learn that I have to be myself in this life and nothing else will do. 

I'm willing to be desperate about this.

I want to speak to the part of you that refuses to stop reaching.  The part where fear is present but unable to fool you anymore.  Some say that living from this place is brave and maybe it is.   But there is also raw desperation.  And willful survival.   And sweet surrender.   It's all these things plus everything you feel when you break habit and turn left instead of right at the fork in the road.  

If you think you have to feel brave before you turn left, you don't.  That feeling may never come.  But if you are willing to be desperate and risk being human, you can find hope in a new direction and you can embody the essence of the word brave, whether you realize it or not.