Awhile ago, a reporter reached out to me about the Show Me Your Brave project. The project was something I started rather casually (and quite by accident), collecting stories of everyday bravery and sharing them via the project’s Facebook page. Each story that was submitted hit me straight in the heart — some stories were empowering, others heart wrenching. The common denominator was strength. In each of the stories I read about incredible courage, even when those who submitted them justified away any semblance of bravery.
But oh, people are so, so brave. Humans are remarkably resilient, and life itself takes a whole lot of guts to get through, whether people fully realize it or not.
The article didn’t go anywhere at first, but the project kept moving along. As months went by, the stories would trickle in. I’d reply to each person, explaining I wasn’t sure exactly how this would pan out, but I was so thankful they’d shared their story with me.
It’s a great honour to be told these stories. Some have been locked inside people their entire lives, because often people cannot recognize their own bravery, or speak their stories aloud. In some cases, I’m the only other person they’ve ever told their story to. In some, they want to shout from the rooftops, but in others, anonymity is preferred. And in each there is beauty.
When Toronto Star published the article, it rejuvenated interest in Show Me Your Brave.
The Show Me Your Brave project gives everyone a voice. It allows people to speak their stories out loud. Sometimes just that act of sharing is cathartic and healing. The project matters because each and every act of bravery, no matter how big or small, matters.
The project gives people community. It brings people together nodding their heads in understanding, or finding those who have been through the same challenges.
The project inspires people. By showing how resilient others can be, it strengthens us. It makes us realize that we, too, can go on. We will survive. We’ll thrive.
Every act of resilience, every moment of fear walked through, every time we challenge ourselves and carry on, and move ahead, we are brave.
The sharing of these stories instils in others the belief that they, too, are brave. It builds a community of allies, of those who are here to listen and applaud. It is a project borne of an interest in positively supporting people who have faced all kinds of fears.
Getting a tattoo.
Facing a fear of public speaking.
Being there for a loved one dying.
Conquering a disease.
Sharing your true self.
Writing that book.
Telling our stories.
You are braver than you think. You are stronger than you realize. Your story deserves to be heard because you matter.