Tonight as I reflect on the events of my life. I contemplate the warrior’s way. I seek what our ancestors knew…protect your family at all costs. Protect your homelands. Value all life as sacred. War is the last resort.
I started martial arts to learn how to protect myself and my son. A single mother alone in a big city. Smart.The more I sit with the teachings I find that my physical being needs to catch up with my spirit. I am learning to speak my mind. Words too, are weapons. I have sheathed my most powerful weapons with kindness even when I knew I needed to let loose my blade in defense of myself and my own spirit.
Yet, I stood there…frozen. Holding tightly to my kindness.
I used to think that if I lashed out intentionally, I would hurt someone…and my conscientiousness would not allow another person to be hurt by my hand…even if they deserved it. On the other hand, my abusive tendencies, unconscious, innate also leads me to lash out on the innocent, defenseless and often loved ones in my life…there is remorse. And resolve to end those ways…
I know these energies are within me. I have never physically struck another person in anger…at least, not in a long time. She reminds me about it all the time. I was ten or eleven. I hit my niece with my cabbage patch doll. Hard. She cried.
I am learning a self defence technique to help me protect myself, and am taking a break right now. Although in class, we practiced gentleness at the same time, the movements we learned in class were vicious and deadly. We do not compete. In many ways I feel uncertain of my growth using this format. So I shy away from practicing the art. Afraid to take the necessary steps to become strong.
I watched my father abuse my mother, and I saw how she just took it. Over and over again, until she finally left.
I swore I would never allow any man who says he loves me – to hit me. None ever have. At least not with their hands but with their words, their energy, their disrespect, their dishonouring of my spirit…I took this abuse and said nothing. It seemed different than the treatment I witnessed at home growing up. So I said nothing.
I’m tired of remaining silent. I’m tired of taking abuse. I’m tired of being afraid. It’s funny – fear. I was always afraid that if I stood up for myself then my love would leave and I would be alone. I never saw that I was better off without them anyway. I’ve been alone a long time. Being alone is not so bad.
I have asked my martial arts teacher to train me to compete. For some reason, my path is about feeling the impact of my punch. I need to know the pain that is training. The pain of defeat. I need to grow, to push myself to the absolute limit. But I haven’t followed through on that request.
I was thinking about all the reasons I stopped going to my martial arts class. Tonight, I realized that it wasn’t because I was afraid of hurting someone. I stopped because I was afraid that if I hit someone, and hurt them, that I would like it. I would like it so much that I wouldn’t be able to stop. I’m not that person…
That, is also the nature of fear. So tonight, I decided to set aside the fear and make good on my request. This path requires discipline. I think I lacked the necessary drive to continue my training…that is until I met someone who taught me pain. Now, that lesson is what drives me. Knowing that I will never accept that kind of treatment from anyone…ever again.
I reflect on the warrior’s way. Protect myself from harm? Put myself in harms way to protect those I love. It is also to speak my truth. Something I’ve never been good at. Except, I’ve finally reached the end of my rope. Thankfully.
The war between kindness and conscientiousness has ended. Both of these parts of me are agreed: authenticity is where I’m at. Regardless of how uncomfortable I am, or how uncomfortable others are…verbalizing intentions is one step. Now, I need the courage and conviction to stand by my words. I need to stand by myself…