“Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.”
— Mufasa, The Lion King
Somehow this reminds me of the fact that bravery is also internal and that emotional vulnerability is oftentimes synonymous with courage. I’m not sure why, but that’s the connection my brain made. What I mean is that we don’t always seek out trouble; in regards to the way I am understanding it, trouble usually comes to us. But facing it is still bravery. Furthermore, the physical aspect of bravery doesn’t need to come into play. In other words, strength and power aren’t just used in head-to-head combat. They don’t exist only to fight physical fights.
Sometimes strength is simply the capacity to withstand major pressure, or the ability to the face brute force of something negative and come out of it alive. But withstanding pressure isn’t always external and negative brute force comes in varying forms. Sometimes power is merely the act of supplying energy to move or influence something, or the speed behind what ultimately moves what’s in front of you. But the energy supplied doesn’t always come easy, or come at all for that matter. And speed certainly isn’t a necessary or qualifying factor. A powerful person can still struggle. A powerful person is sometimes exactly someone who struggles.
This way of thinking is perfectly applied to mental illness. Being open about the difficulties of a mind at war is, in my opinion, courageous. If only because it involves admitting the truth to yourself —which can be scary because once you admit the truth, you must face it. But having an openness around other people is courage multiplied tenfold. Being vulnerable around others opens the doors to a plethora of shitty possibilities: not being understood, being judged in general, being laughed at or brushed aside, being abandoned, being the subject of bullying. The list goes on and on. Luckily, it also brings with it the possibility of kind understanding and even respect and admiration. The thing is taking the risk when you aren’t fully certain which outcome you’ll experience.