The Lion and the Wolf

“I will face any challenge or set back head on.  I am a lion.  I am the wolf.  I will fight with my shield or come back on it.”

This is a personal mantra I would recite to myself every day for almost two years, until about two weeks ago.

Lately, I have been petty, pouty, and definitely not perspicacious.  The personal challenges kept piling up on me like a never-ending line of angry customers.

I couldn’t stand it, and I wanted to give up.  Give it all up. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

Nothing mattered.  No matter what I did, it would all end up the same: I would fail. 

And that’s when it dawned on me:  if nothing mattered, then why not take the greatest risks?  Why not be present?  Why not practice gratitude?  I would always feel better when I did, so even if I fail at everything, isn’t it better to have felt good in the process?

After the apathy eroded away came the anger.  Everything triggered me.  I experienced the shortest fuse since high school. 

I asked myself, why am I angry?  It wasn’t a righteous anger.  It was anger derived from hurt, loneliness, and degrading thoughts about myself. 

Again I asked myself, is this the strongest version of me?  Is this the best version of myself?  What would the best version of myself do in this situation? 

Do that.

And so I have been. 

Today I was went to my second job at my friend’s house, and in his bathroom there is a picture of a lion with its lioness.  That is when I realized that I haven’t been the Lion, nor have I have I been the wolf.

A lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of others.  A lion protects its own.  A lion takes what it wants. 

But you never see a wolf never performing in the circus.

So I take aspects from both animals.  If I want something that is good for my well-being, I will go out and get it regardless of my fear of failure, and I will not conform to a current trend simply because it’s easy.

I will fight on my shield or come back on it. This doesn’t mean that every day has to be a fight or a battle.  In fact, I’ve given up my shield, because armor is what you need when you’re afraid of your own vulnerability. 

Instead, I will derive my strength from my openness and vulnerability.

I won’t go down without a fight.  Just like the lion and the wolf.   

I’m done with the pettiness.  The self-pity.  The woe is me storyline.  Every day is another opportunity to invent your story. 

Let these words hold testament to the fact that when it’s all said and done, I did things on my own terms.