Friday, May 20, 2011

Plank Pulling: Courage Doesn't Always Roar

“Promise me you'll always remember: 
You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." 
                                  Christopher Robin to Pooh

A fellow blogger named Jen does a feature on her blog where she does something called plank pulling. She writes, "The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye." So I am here to pull out one of my own planks- my lack of courage.

Most of my close friends can tell you that when they need someone to give them a piece of courage I am always there. Whether it is someone pushing them around, some well needed advice, or just a push in the right direction, I try to give some gusto to whomever needs it. But when it comes to myself, I don't take my own advice. I cower, defer, avoid, and generally let people walk all over me because I don't want to be disliked and do not like confrontation. 

I let parents, whose children I care for, not pay me when they pick up their kids late. I don't ask for raises that I deserve because I don't want to make waves. I avoid mentioning that we homeschool if I don't think the other person will be understanding. And I don't breastfeed in public without a cover because I don't want to deal with the stares and disapproving looks, especially because Miss M is a casual drinker and likes to drink then look around a lot. 

But I know I NEED to stand up for myself and our family values. I am so very proud to nurse my baby because I know that it is best for her and me,  I love homeschooling Gabby and AJ- I wish people did not have the stereotypes that they do about it, and I need to stop letting other people take advantage of me. Sigh... my head knows all these things but my gusto goes with the wind when push comes to shove. 

I realize a lot of people would say that I actually have a lot of courage- I stood up for my daughter's education and despite a lack of support from most friends I did what I had to do to make sure she was happy and loved learning. I was the one who told my teachers that we were being abused at home and needed to get out. And I stood up to my OB/GYN and left her practice when I was being forced into a c-section based on convenience instead of need. But... it is all the little things that I lack the courage for, things that aren't really hurting anyone unless you add them all up. Then they do matter...

So I guess that I need to start taking my own advice, strap on some cajones, and realize that the only person I am hurting is myself when I don't stand up for my beliefs and values. Cheers!
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