I think it's fair to say I've been in a heightened state of fear and anxiety for roughly the past year. I startle at every noise. I check that the doors and windows are locked multiple times before retiring at night. When I'm sleeping in a house by myself I race to the window every time I hear a thump (a tree branch) or a creak (the house settling). I'm doing my best to mitigate the problem — biofeedback, acupuncture, etc. but ultimately fear is taking over.
I spoke with my life coach several days ago (yes, I have one) and cried on the phone about how I want to sleep at night and I don't want to be dependent on the presence of someone else to feel safe. He asked me, "When was the last time you felt safe?" Despite its pitfalls, I felt safe in my previous apartment because it was such a pain in the ass to get to. No one would go through the trouble of breaking in, but even then I still had some fear. I surprised myself by telling him the last time I felt truly safe was when I did kung fu regularly. I remember walking down the street feeling unafraid and in my body, knowing and trusting I could handle myself should something arise. In the past year I've lost that. I've felt powerless and helpless and like a victim.
This week I started doing kung fu again. I wish I could say it was a magic pill and all of a sudden I feel loads better, but that's not true. I can say I feel progressively better because I'm bringing out my inner warrior.
When I think of "warrior" I usually picture some ripped guy ready to use his fists or weapons to protect himself and his loved ones from some impending danger. I do NOT think of a 5'6" Jewish woman who waxes eloquent about spirituality and love for all. Here's the thing — my image of a warrior is warped. A warrior is not a bloodthirsty dude ready to kill whoever steps in his way. A warrior is someone who faces their fears. Someone who does what needs to be done. Someone who has strength of character and a backbone. Someone who will fight and protect if necessary but isn't constantly ready to engage in knuckle bashing.
I bring this up because we all have an inner warrior. It's the part of ourselves that's strong and capable and focused. The part of ourselves that's disciplined and keeps taking the next right action and then the next. The inner warrior is the piece of us that is courageous and provides security. My inner warrior has been lying dormant for far too long. Instead of jumping like a scaredy cat, feeling like a victim, afraid of my own shadow, it's time to pull up the strength within me, to take back my power, and become an active participant in the world once more.
I dream of a world where we call upon our inner warrior when it's most prudent for us. A world where we engage with battles to set our world right again. A world where we stand up for ourselves, a world where we access our inner strength. A world where we bring out our inner warriors.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.