What if your confidence didn’t need to be built?
What if it was already there, as much a part of you as your amber eyes or the mole beneath your arm?
According to Chogyam Trungpa in Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, it is. To find it, you need only wipe the condensation off the mirror and see yourself clearly.
Ah, there you are. Confident, enlightened, and complete.
If it sounds simplistic, know that this path is easier to describe than follow; most of us are used to looking outside ourselves for validation.
This other way is steep, yet restful. You can stop going in circles and cowering in fear—just look into your own eyes with compassion. This may be old news to some of you, but for a newer student of Buddhism, it was, shall we say, enlightening.
I don’t have to wait to be brave; I already am.
I only need to defog my glasses, the way my husband used to do when we lived in Tampa and drove an old Honda without air conditioning.
Now, I don’t intend to stop praying or asking for help, but I’ll be asking to see myself more clearly rather than to be given something I lack.
So, in this light, I would like to inform you that Friday, March 22nd is Goof Off Day…it’s also my birthday.
I want to joke about that but, honestly, it’s ironic. I have no clue how to let go of control and goof off. Also, I worry about looking silly and embarrassing myself. But since I already possess the courage I need, and want for nothing the opinion of others can provide, I plan to embrace this day.
How will a serious girl like me goof off?
Well, I teach yoga on Fridays so I’ll strive for a lighter approach than usual; we’ll laugh and get silly. Shake, dance, jump, maybe do Hala Khouri’s dancing and self-massage.
I plan to wear summery clothes, even though it snowed last night. Maybe I’ll try a new ‘do or poke a daffodil behind my ear.
When my girlfriends and I lunch at the Thai place where I usually whisper, I’ll shriek it up.
Well, it’s a start.
I bet you can be more creative—and now that you know you’re already as brave as you need to be—and you always have been and always will be—I hope that you will.
So, have a goofy day, you brave, wonderful warrior, you.
Need a few final words of encouragement?
“Developing confidence is like watching the sun rise. First it seems very feeble and one wonders whether it will make it. Then it shines and shines. Confidence is not about arrogance or pride. It’s a natural unfolding process.”
~ Chogyam Trungpa
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Ed: Bryonie Wise