This world is both beautiful and brutal. We find beauty in nature, and in others when we see the variety of goodness in each thing. But this existence is also brutal. Evil, violence, and ugliness exist alongside the exquisite things of this world.
Brutality often comes in the form of attack from others: verbally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Depending on our experiences with others, we are often taught to fear these attacks. We are taught to be cautious, sometimes overly so (this is how prejudice forms), but aren’t actually prepared for things that happen.
The possibilities of attack can form into specters that haunt and cause people to fear too much, creating Boogeymen in their minds. Well, at least that’s what I’ve done.
News of a recent attack on a woman here in my town in the state of Delaware conjures up my fears of the Boogeymen. Walking to my car from a store or being outside in the dark anywhere in town becomes a frightful and paranoid experience. The adrenaline already pumping through my veins is causing me to lose sight of my surroundings, blinding me to any actual threat because seeing through fear’s lens distorts reality. In this instance, fear is not my helper. I need something better than this to get me home safely. I need a safeguard that keeps my thoughts clear and my mind freed to make good choices for myself.
Self defense training is that safeguard. As I learn to strike properly and with strength, I can see myself standing up to the Boogeymen of this world. I can learn to throw them down, stop them from hurting me, and get away to safety. The more I learn, practice and grow, the more I can do for myself with a sense of confidence. With this confidence comes a change in perception about the Boogeymen, they are not a specter anymore, I am no longer haunted by fear and ignorance, I will no longer freeze. I will take action on my behalf.
In this world, acknowledging the brutality as real is essential to overcoming the fear violence and attack. Putting yourself first in protection is wisdom. Training helps with both fear and confidence because facing the realities and possibilities on a regular basis gives your mind space to react appropriately to whatever could happen. It means the world to me to walk down the street with confidence and preparedness because I’m training myself away from freezing in fear in the face of the real Boogeymen.
I am no longer afraid of the Boogeymen.