How can I raise my daughter to be brave if I am afraid of being anything less than perfect? The trick, I’m realizing, is not to run from anger or fear, but to feel them, deeply. Before, I thought I was brave because I pushed past pain. But bravery is facing fear, being vulnerable, and sitting in discomfort with anger.
—Susie Rinehart, Fierce Joy
This content appears in my forthcoming memoir, Fierce Joy. It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. My editors say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story. This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.