I love to collect quotes or pieces from books or movies that strike me at the moment. It's the expectation of opening an envelope and seeing what's inside, or it tickles your fancy in some way, and mostly it's memorable leaving its mark. It's been said that every novel read changes you and some parts stick and you find yourself tagged for the moment immersed in a meaning or feeling.
From A Ghost A Witch and a Goblin by Scholastic Book Services, illustrated by Rosiland Fry, 1970: The Good Aunt says to her niece "Because you are so brave and so good, you will be stronger than all the wicked creatures you may meet." From Baba Yaga – a Russian witch story.
This gives me a dose of courage every time it's remembered, a feeling of being safe. At first, I thought about how I might have been good throughout my life, but brave was new to me. I've taken good and bad risks and remembered having courage once in my life when I removed myself from a very long standing marriage. Love had disappeared, and I couldn't continue to be unloved. I struggled, like being caught in a vat of taffy not able to move, afraid to get out and not knowing how to. That fear to make a change sat on my courage that was always there waiting to open the door to a happier and better life. I knew a powerfully deep peace I've never felt before after my decision. When my sister-in-law told me that doing so took much courage, I realized I must have the courage she was talking about which never really dawned on me that I was courageous until that moment. So, when I read this line from the story, it gives me a lift inside and reminds me of the good done in my life and where I was brave, and I'm not afraid like before, knowing I've learned to trust myself a little more without thinking that I'll fall backwards, and that I can make better choices in life. I am reminded to question when something's good for me and whether a risk is a good one or too risky, and to surround myself in that light and in the light of forgiveness that this story line incurs. I love that it's a challenge to strive for goodness and to be brave and promises a reward.
If you are a middle grader or young adult, you may have had to get out of situations not best for you, or move away from danger, or from friends not suited for you who may be troublesome or might pressure you into doing something you know isn't right or don't want to do. By tuning into your feelings in these situations and what you're sensing that doesn't feel right, you can begin to trust yourself learning that walking away is not so bad. And if it is, you can and should reach out for help.
And remember that all acts of courage are heroic. Each act is neither big nor small. There's nothing small about courage in any way. Like in the saying it's all good, it's all brave. And courage is the rarest of gifts. And anything so rare, is huge.
I hope this piece of the Baba Yaga story reminds you of your goodness and bravery and that you come to treasure it as much as I do.