A few months back or maybe it’s been a year now I read a book called Fearless. It’s the story of Adam Brown, A Navy Seal who died in combat.

I wrote a post about it at the time I think. One of the things I admired about his family was their courage and kindness to share his story. It is not a picture perfect one. Adam was flawed. I know we all are, but many of us do not like to let other people know that and neither do our families. Especially, after we have perished.

One more story of a perfect hero might be a great read, but for me(a flawed kind of gal), his story did more than touch me and reinforce my gratefulness to those who serve our country. It inspired me.

I hope that as you read this you understand I am not comparing my struggles to his or my minor accomplishment to his remarkable ones, what I am saying is that in his story I found things that tangibly helped me.

Apparently, he was fearless. As a child he jumped out windows and stood up to bullies and lived life with abandonment. Clearly, that is not me, but there are parts of his story were he was afraid. Where he faced things that terrified him and he struggled.

As I have said before when one is surrounded by very strong women like Tam, Brigid, Erin, Roberta, Kathy Jackson, it is easy to feel weak and whining  Again, that is not against them…good, good, good. I am doing everything in my power to raise my girl’s to be those women. To be strong and fearless, but as I struggled and struggled and struggled, often with the same damn thing(like showing up at MMA class) it is easy to believe that you(I) are the weakest person around and then make judgments based on them. Often very helpful self judgement that do not lead to anything positive.

When I see people who clearly are strong and brave, but who have struggled more than once, it gives me hope and it inspires me. I have never used others as a way defend my own issues, but instead as hope.

I also have never been one for mantras or what I call false senses of hope. I sometimes think people get so caught up in the ritual of praying, reading  or listening to inspirational things that they forget to actually find some use I them. As a result I have in the past shun any semblance of those things in my own life.

However, when something isn’t working…

We think our minds tell us what to do, but actually we tell our mind and then it reacts from there. If we or our parents or society keep telling the brain something long enough it believes it and then we think, “Oh crap if my mind thinks it or believes it it must be true. I can’t change how I think and feel…BOLOGNA!

Tell it something different.

Try it.

You will see.

A friend of mine, you might know him as Cam(that is how he comments on this blog) told me a year or so ago to find a mantra or inspirational saying. I already had, but I didn’t really use it. After he made the suggestion I decided to try something different. I began actually putting the saying I found into action in my life.

When I got(get) scared, I would(do) say it over and over…

“You Stand Master” It is what reminds me that I am in control(not in terms of the universe. I decided and I can do or not do whatever I want. There is absolutely zero reason for me to pursue training. None. No one cares and many people think I am nuts.

I continue to face my fear of going to the next level because I have deep, deep desire to not allow fear to stop me from anything and I have a deep, deep desire to learn more. I can not explain that fully, but I do not have to. The point is when I am afraid I ask myself…”Why are doing this thing?” The answer is almost always because I want to(if it isn’t I do not do it). Why on earth would I let anything stop me from doing what I want??

Now, my list of wants is really small and really simple. I want to have peace inside my own skin. I do not want to be afraid. I have been afraid and it is paralyzing. I hate it.

I want to be strong mentally for myself and my kids. I do not want to be moody or haunted by the past(abuses against me or my own mistakes and guilt). I think they deserve a mommy who is strong enough to put that stuff behind her and move on.

I want to know without a doubt that I can and will defend my life should I ever be put in that position.

And I want to be smokin’ hot for my man.

From that list I think I can be a happy, kind, giving person. A good friend, a great mommy and not a bad wife. Plus, hopefully, a valuable contributor to society.

I have goals and I have ways to achieve those goals, so when fear natters in my ear, I say over and over again…this is what YOU want. You stand master.

That’s my thing. Doesn’t matter what my thing is. What matters is that if you are struggling(and my email box says many, many people are) that you define what you want your life to be, you find healthy ways to get there, and perhaps you find a saying or someone/something that inspires you to move forward in positive ways.

When the song Fearless first came out, I bought it because it was my little, itty, bitty, tiny way of contributing to Adam’s memory and a way of honoring him, but I only listened to it once. I thought it was kind of cheesy. The other day while I was running the song popped up on my itunes since I was running I didn’t bother to change it. I must have listened to it 100 times since then. For whatever reason, now it has meaning to me.

I love the line…”Believe you’ll get stronger every time you fall…”

Now, of course believing isn’t enough, but that is a good step. Believing that I can get stronger and then acting as though I actually believe it has had led to tremendously positive changes in my life.

Do I continue to struggle…YES. Does it matter…NO. The time between “Crap there is that fear again” and “Oh shut up stupid fear. I am doing this” is decreasing every time I face it.

Honestly, I was annoyed last night as I went to the gym to do my self defense class. I got there I was butterfly-y and fidgeting until the class started and once again, I was fine. Perfectly fine. Didn’t hesitate or back down or cry. I loved every second and for a beginner I think I am doing fine. I am still scared because I know it will get tougher and I am not a fan of this choking-out thing that these people think is so darn nifty, but in just one class I know I am ready to go back every week and instead of having to talk myself into it, I am truly looking forward to it. I was annoyed because I thought how any times has this end exactly the same way and you still put it off???

I came home pumped up and excited and showed TSM every move I learned  Although I was nice. Since we do not have mats, I did not do the take down move where one lands on their back.

Let me be clear about this too, this is not about self defense  I don’t care if anyone else takes self defense classes but you probably should). Just like I do not care if anyone else carries a gun(but, seriously, you probably should). This is not about becoming me or doing what I do. We are all different, but again as emails pour in, I realize many folks(men and women) are struggling with fear of some kind. This just me telling a part of my journey again and sharing what has helped me. Maybe it will help someone, maybe not, but the point is if something is holding you back, stressing you out, scaring you or causing some kind of grief and you’re sick of it…then you might want to find some positive  healthy ways to make changes.

Now, you are gonna have to excuse me because last night did this to my body and if I sit for too long my legs do not want to let me walk down the stairs.

IMG_20130521_203127_600 IMG_20130521_203324_731


I will leave you with this…


16 thoughts on “Fearless

  1. You have the mentality of not just a winner, but of a champion.

  2. And what would you like for yourself alone? The wants you have are great ones and I think they would make anyone happy but it makes me think of this movie that I’ve watched a million times, it’s a girlie flick but I admire it because it is based on a true story (I went so far to get the autobiography and her poetry). The movie is Dangerous Beauty. There is this scene where her love enters into an arranged marriage and he’s asking his new wife what she wants and lists out all the commendable ones such as being a good wife, being a good mother and he asks her what she wants for herself and she couldn’t answer that. (Side note: The reason I love this movie is the character is based on a 16th century Italian Courtesan, women in that time were not allowed educations or even opinions, she had all of it though)

    Belief is a powerful thing and you are so right that it’s not going the solution, just a part of it. I’ve spent my life telling myself that recognition is half the battle. I’ve read your journal for a while now, I don’t respond much, maybe not at all. But you, unlike so many people out there, at least recognize what your issues are and you strive to become stronger. You are on a great path and you will make progress, it’s when you stop looking (in some cases) is when you won’t find anything.

    My mantra and I’m not even a supporter of this company but there old slogan, “Just do it”. I try to live by that because, like you get I talk myself out of a lot of things, even to the smallest detail. Another one I like is from some old school punk song from the 80’s. “It’s better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven’t done” (not that this relates to the post, it just popped into my head) my disclaimer, I’m only sharing my “mantras” or motivating remarks just to share.

    You will succeed as long as you keep trying to; maybe that is success in of itself.

    • I love this comment. It reminds me of what I often tell women who say they carry a gun for their children. It is always this sense that their life alone isn’t worth fighting for, but that of their kid’s is. Absolutely, children are our responsibility and they need us to fight and defend and protect them, but that is not the same things as saying if they were not on the planet, you, all by yourself isn’t worth the effort. I am speaking in general terms when I say “you”.

      However, let me point out that the first thing I listed was peace inside myself and that is a purely selfish desire. No matter what anyone said or did for me after I was mugged I was terrified. I was terrified when I was alone, I was terrified when my husband held me tightly, I was terrified in a room full of people, I was terrified in a room full of armed people. I was terrified after I had a gun and took some training. I was scared all the time inside my own skin. It took me nearly a year to even learn how to manage that fear and another full year to let it go and start to live a life worth living.

      The list is a very generic list of wants including when I said I do what I want and do not do what I do not want. I may not always want to get up and make my kids breakfast because I am tired, but I do know that for me doing so makes my kids feel special and loved and it a wonderful time for us to hang out before they go off for the day and so essentially I get up because I do want to. I may not want to be nice to so and so, but I know how I want to represent myself and how I want to treat people, so I am nice again in the end doing what I want. If I do not want to serve on the PTA because I see not see a benefit to me, my family, my community then I don’t. If that makes sense.

      I do lots and lots for myself…I take shooting courses(which next to my husband is my favorite), and I am off to self defense twice a week and EMT several times a month and I read and I blog and have dinner with my friends, but at the end of the day the things I truly, honestly enjoy are a sense of security in knowing I can take care of myself and my family. Twenty-three years my husband has stood with as we built this life and much of it was hard. Life in the military, enduring long deployments, combat and trust me when I say my healing from the attack was not easy on him, but here we are a happy, carefree, fiercely in love, wildly passionate couple and when I am with him I am most happy.

      Love, love, love your mantras!!

      I really do appreciate you taking the time to leave this comment. Thank you so much!!!

  3. I do understand your fear and how hard it is to get over it. I was never mugged but when I was five, my twin sister ran off and left me alone. A fifteen year offered to walk me home. I knew something was amiss but being five I didn’t know how to extricate myself from the situation. I gave him a fake name, it’s something my brother and sister had a tendency to do a lot, not sure why. Well when we got home he molested me in front of our garage by my mother’s car. I finally came up with an excuse to get away from him by saying I had to use the bathroom (I still use this excuse to this day to get out of uncomfortable situations).

    I didn’t have time to tell my mom what had happened because the doorbell rang and she ran off to answer it, the man had the audacity to ask for me by the name I gave him, had no clue what he did was wrong. When my mother came back down I told her she tried to find the guy, called the police, long story short, he was caught and before he was caught by the police my mom had an instance where she almost beat him, he actually started to stalk me (a five year old, sick!).

    My mom had wanted to send me to therapy, my dad was against that sort of thing, it wasn’t common in those days. I eventually blocked a lot of it out but I went through life terrified to go anywhere alone, my sister used to get so annoyed with me because it was always, “come with me” even to the bathroom. It wasn’t until I was 16 and had an argument with my mom which caused me to start looking at my problems, to list them out and start dealing with them. One of them was my fear of going anywhere alone and I started to analyze why, where this came from and attached it to that moment when I was five. I started to go places alone after that but it’s amazing how much something like this goes deep, affects you in ways that you can’t even imagine. Despite my great strides over the years, I still find issues cropping up. I may no longer be afraid to go somewhere alone but where this hurts me the most is my inability to form long term relationships, not just intimately but platonically as well.

    My experience is probably nothing compared to yours and I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to overcome this but I do understand the psychological aspects and the hindrances that a violation can cause. My still being affected by it bothers me because mine happened over 34 years ago.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my previous post and this one and taking the time to respond. I really do enjoy reading your blog.

    • Kararyn, thank you for sharing a little bit about your life. I do not think that struggles are comparable in terms of whose is worse. I know others have endured greater hardships than me and didn’t struggle as I did, but they are not me. Regardless of what anyone else has suffered my trails were real for me. Of course, learning from others is a great way to avoid some of the pitfalls:). We are not always afford the opportunity though.

      I am very sorry for what you went through(are still going through to some extent). There is evil in this world and it preys on the good, the kind, the young,…No child should have to suffer at the hands of a madman. Very sorry.

      I do hope that you find some peace and allow yourself the gift of healing.

      • Thank you for your kind words and sharing your life with me via your blog. It’s encouraging and even though this is for you, you do help a lot of people.

  4. I’m always surprised when you refer to me as a strong woman, Shelby, because the truth is that for too long I’ve let my fears and insecurities keep me from meeting new people, and it’s because you were such a strong role model with you “Screw it, I’ll be who I am” attitude that I decided I should climb out of my shell and meet the rest of the world.

    So for every time you thought you were weak, you should know that just as often, I was looking at you and thinking “Wow, I wish I could be as brave and confident as she is.”

  5. . A Girl,

    It is always a pleasure to see your progression and improvement. You have a wealth of knowledge, skills and passion, which never cease to inspire and offer hope and light to others keep it up.
    PS: You may not have been SOC but your Heart and drive carry you forward like one.

  6. One step at a time, and you keep taking those steps! That inner strength is coming to the fore; and we are all better for it! Thank you for being willing to share those steps and give courage to others!

Comments are closed.