The Good Stuff

What do I want to see when I gaze back on my life? Ah, that probing query keeps us staring at the ceiling when we should be snoozing. And as we get older we discover most of our life will all too soon stare back at us from the rear view mirror and…

Yep, there’s my life back there…

Wait. This isn’t one of those deep, depressing posts is it? Nope, we’re not going anywhere but up today. Because when I look back on the past year of self-defense training I see a lot of good stuff.

So let’s rewind to… January 2018. Stephanie asked, would I participate in a “beta test” seminar she was running on Ladies’ Self-Defense? Being the devoted bestie I am, I of course said Yes. What else would I say? That I was scared of the unknown, that I didn’t want any close contact with any non-familiar males (heck, any males whatsoever except my husband)? That I was scared of making a fool of myself? That I didn’t really want to know what I didn’t know? And…? But I said Yes. And then as I thought about entering the dojo I found myself…

Excited.

Let’s do this.

Because there’s something irresistible about the unknown, under all that trepidation. And I was about to find out that getting the Good Stuff waiting behind the dojo door was — and is — so worth it.

So I sat with the other test ladies as Steph taught us how to use various everyday objects as weapons, how to sense danger, how to fend off an attacker with some well-placed twists and kicks… And just sitting there minding my own business I felt a part of me awaken. As I rose to transfer the info to action, I came alive.

I’ll never be the same…

Going to classes some weeks later I realized I opened, not a Pandora’s Box but a Treasure Trove: I awakened a long-squashed confidence. I dusted off some self-esteem, I really believed I was worth defending. I was — and am — valuable. Not for what I can contribute to this world, but just because I’m alive. I pulled a brassy bit of boldness out next, realizing for the first time in forever I’m not an underdog. My voice matters. A cluster of pearls glows gently, heart humility — I can listen and truly honor the person in front of me, for we are equals here. Ah, and the fine fabric of a teachable heart and mind. There’s so much to learn, so much I want to know!

So much treasure!

But I think the most surprising gift I’ve pulled from that seemingly bottomless chest is the bravery to run toward the attack, not cower and let the enemy steamroll me.

I take the fight back to them. I get closer if that’s what it takes to submit them enough to get away. I am not a victim. I stand for what is mine and no one violates me.

Don’t even go there.

I’m not afraid anymore.

This is the Good Stuff. And I keep coming back because there’s so much more to discover, more emerging treasure. And I don’t want to miss any of it. So when my earthly life’s done I can look back and grin. I can’t help it — I made myself do the hard stuff to get the Good Stuff, and it’s so, so good.

What more is in there…?

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