#Awesome: The Beautiful (and Hidden) Bravery of Women

A group of women gathered by the lake.

Spun tales. Celebrated success. Watched the sun go down. And along the way, challenged one another to believe in themselves – no matter what.

When several Courageous Women joined me for a sunset cookout at a local park last weekend, I knew we were in for a special evening. Old friends were greeted and new connections made. Deb and Dianna ran the grill while others set out a smorgasbord of delights. There were plenty of goodies on hand, including a more than adequate supply of chocolate. (Thank goodness!)

But the greatest delight of all was that which was unseen: the complete and abundant courage among them all.


The only one who can’t quite get our act together. The only one who can’t seem to shake the fear and self-doubt that sits so comfortably on our shoulder. It’s so easy to look at others who cross our path and think they have something we don’t – some extra bit of wisdom, some extra bit of ease.

Some extra bit of bravery we can’t imagine for ourselves.

Sometimes, we feel tiny pangs of envy. Or resentment even. Why does everything seem so easy for everyone else?

But the truth is, when we allow ourselves for just a moment to search for our strengths and share our stories – we see a different picture entirely.

It’s not easy for everyone else. At all. Not really.

We ALL have struggles. We ALL have doubts.

And we ALL are courageous – sometimes in remarkable ways.

And when you put all of our broken pieces together with the strength and Spirit we carry inside, what we get is something beautiful.


I’d asked everyone to share a story about something they’ve done or a moment they’ve had this year when they did something brave, in a way that may have surprised even them. It didn’t matter how small it might be, or how grand. The point was that they were proud of themselves.

And some amazing stories poured forth.

Reaching out to family members and mending old wounds. Standing on faith to create a new life and career in the face of old stories no longer accepted as true. Finding one’s voice, speaking truth with kindness but clarity even when it might be hard to hear sometimes. Surviving loss, challenging fears, pushing through illness, asking for help.

All of these and more were shared and celebrated as one after the other shared her determination to move past struggle, and into strength.

It was truly #Awesome. :)

Oh – and they asked me at the end to share my own story of bravery thus far. In truth, there are many things I do that require me to push through fears of my own – though I know that doesn’t always show.

Just calling that group together, setting the stage for a Courageous Women’s gathering, always requires an extra dash of courage for me. :)


Tell me a story about some act of bravery you’ve found yourself doing so far this year. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as small as returning something to the store that you don’t like, or as grand as moving across the country.

In fact, what feels really brave to us may be almost invisible to someone else.

Share your story in the comments below, so we can celebrate with you the remarkable way you, too, are part of the Courageous Women’s community. We will be encouraged by your words, as you are encouraged by ours.

So, what one brave thing have you done so far this year?

Photo Credit: Ebelien on Flickr


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