January 13 2016

I Want to See You Be Brave

For my birthday this year my sister gave me a lovely bracelet that spells “Klahan” which means “Brave” in Khmer, the language of Cambodia. I’ve been really attached to the bracelet ever since, there is something about being able to wear “brave,” a reminder of stepping out and being courageous. When I sang with Cabaret Sauvignon, a fabulous Jersey City all-women a cappella group, one of my solo songs was the Sara Bareilles song “Brave.” I loved singing that song, because it is what I truly wish for you, for everyone – I want to see you be brave. A lot of us hide, afraid to be seen, afraid to be known, because we are afraid that in the end we will be found wanting. But over the years I’ve come to know that the opposite is true. There is healing and love in being seen, in being known warts and all, because then you can let go of the need to be something you are not (a waste of energy) and you can let go of the need to please. Singing in Cabaret Sauvignon was an act of bravery for me. I love to sing, but don’t value my singing very highly and singing a cappella you are utterly exposed – no instruments to save you. Luckily I had the other girls to support me and the audience’s beautiful faces to tell a story to. It was a great experience to bare my heart and sing.

During college I worked at a shelter for domestic violence survivors. It takes a lot of bravery to remove yourself from abusive situations and it takes even more to let go of the victim mentality, take responsibility for your life and move forward. It is possible and it is mighty inspiring to see. Bravery is another form of love – it is self love and by loving yourself you are sharing love with the world. So here’s to a brave 2016!

Lyrics to BRAVE by Sara Bareilles
You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave
Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave