Of Bravery

So out of the blue, I just decided to play an online quiz – this time, I was curious to see what my Hogwarts House would be. Being a protector and leader-type, I’ve been placed in Gryffindor very consistently in the past. On rare ocassions, I get put into Ravenclaw because I am pretty bookish.

This time, I wasn’t surprised to see the red and gold colors of Gryffindor show up on my results. I was told in the results that:


“Gryffindors are unparalleled in their bravery and courage. You are a natural leader and are usually the first to step up to the plate in a crisis. You like to take risks, and are often rewarded by your ability to go where others cannot. However, you can be a little reckless, so be wary of situations in which you might be out of your depth!”

Interestingly, while I am usually the first to step up to the plate in a crisis (this is especially prevalent while in group therapy setting as I’m always the first to offer my story despite the vulnerability I feel when that happens), I don’t know if I’d ever call myself brave. I don’t think courage and daring is something I have because I’m never one to stand up for myself. I only do so for others’ sake but never for my own. So I don’t see that as bravery – I just see it as foolishness in some ways.

Yet, people often point out how brave I am. S has told me multiple times now that I show so much courage and resilience. I’ve had other psychologists say the same thing – B said it to me during group last semester, C said it to me too during group last semester, J has called me ‘resilient’, a group member has also called me ‘courageous’, T (the group co-leader) has also mentioned that in my last group session, Q (my friend in the blogosphere who writes here) has also told me that before…

So many people have pointed this out and yet just like everything else that’s positive about me, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it because it doesn’t feel right. It never feels right.

Though I can agree that I have shown courage and bravery in these instances, I can’t accept that I am intrinsically so even though I can name all the times that I have done things to save others and often think about what I could do in the future to help make a difference. I think the reason it’s so hard for me to accept is because of how prideful I feel after I get praises and compliments. I feel bad because I feel like a truly brave/courageous/honorable person would not feel proud or pleased – rather, that they would feel that their duty was completed.

I feel like in my mind, I see myself as a kind of a knight or a soldier – doing a duty, performing a service; for honor. Honor seems to be important to me and that a soldier or a knight without honor is the worst thing I can be. It seems to me now that losing my honor is worse than failing at something (for the longest time, I thought failure was my biggest fear). Somehow, I’ve adopted a Japanese-samurai/bushido-style philosophy that I’ve ingrained in myself so much that I can’t accept praise.

I want to be recognized for the good I do but accepting that recognition destroys me emotionally as I grapple with guilt and shame from accepting such recognition.





PS: I used to enjoy the Harry Potter series until I felt that JK Rowling was being careless with her word count, sloppy in her editing and superfluous threads of plot, as well as ruthless and uncaring in the way she handled all the deaths. As such, my good memories of this series has been tarnished by the last 3 books and I don’t think I could ever go back to enjoying this series ever again.


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