Tuesday, January 5, 2016


If you’ve ever taken a personality profile test, you’ve probably stumbled across the part of the configuration process where you are provided a page of seemingly endless characteristics and qualities. Most of the time, you are instructed to either pick the words that most accurately describe you, or to select the words others would use to best describe you.

We pick the words we are familiar with—words we have heard before when people have talked about us, characteristics our friends and family mention they admire in us, or even those words we remember our astrological sign being strong in from when we read our horoscope as a kid in some teen magazine. These words probably don’t change much as time goes on—perhaps we add in a word or two down the line from recent accomplishments, or remove a word if we are limited in the number we are allowed to select. While we change as individuals, with variances in interests and goals and ideals, the very makings of who we are tend to stay somewhat steady. It is our character, after all, it defines us in the choices we make, our moral compass and how we choose to live our lives.

My standard go to descriptors would be the package of sentiments involving ‘honest’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘kind’, etc. Brave is definitely not a word I would ever circle, click, or otherwise select to describe the person I am. I’ve only recently accepted I’m an individual who craves adventure in their life—brave seems like a way too big of a jump in the progression of my character.

instagram: @loveinspireschange
While at a yoga inversions class the instructor was encouraging us, and our progress. Being an inversions newbie, I was just pleased I had the strength to even hold myself upside down, or do an arm balance, or really just be able to have my heels touch the ground in downward dog. When she got to me I had no thoughts or expectations of what she would say—if I think about it now I would expect something along the lines of how I’ve really committed to attending the class, which is fun and exciting! Instead, she surprised me with saying I was Brave. How I had no fear. How I was willing to try anything.

I smiled awkwardly at such remarks—I’m the honest, trustworthy, compassionate kind of girl. I’m not the brave, try anything kind of girl. Is this a real change? Is this part of how my character has been developing over the years? Would others describe me in this way? Or is it some elaborate facade I’ve unknowingly put up that others would see but wouldn’t be true in my heart?

I think we can get stuck in who we believe we are. We believe the characteristics of who we have been in the past to be the only unchanging truths we can centre ourselves on as life spins and changes and dives deeper in the unknowns. We don’t consciously sit there and think ‘This is who I have been forever, this is who I will continue to be’ per say, but if personality test after strength finder test after buzzfeed quiz can speak in what they see, I’m sure the answers we have been putting in since our youth would resonate with only slight modifications into the now.

The beginning of a new year brings the excitement of advancement and change. Challenge yourself to reflect on who you think you are and who you always have been, and look at where life has taken you and how it has shaped you to advance your character in unimaginable ways.

While steeping in the word Brave I am reminded of how bravery; being fearless, and enduring with courage, are things we can gain from a Christ-centred life. With God on your side there is no reason to be afraid. We can move forward confidently, with hopeful expectation of magnificent outcomes. The outcomes may be undefined, the first few steps may be shaky—but taking the steps is what makes you brave. Even if they are small, they are steps and the steps show courage.

I will willingly add Brave to my list of descriptors, and will look at words to remove which no longer serve the individual I am continually growing in Christ to be.  It’s fun to see how far we’ve come as humans constantly under development, it’s exciting to leave behind the old and embrace the new.

As we reflect and challenge our views of ourselves, I will leave you with this reminder for your 2016: As the live-action Cinderella movie tells us;

Have Courage & Be Kind.

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