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.
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.
I will leave you with this…