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.  

I'm Over It

June gloom is a plague that stretches into the early days of August in my city.  Every morning when I drive to work I enter a mist that engulfs my neighborhood, and I can barely see twenty feet in front of me.  When I put my foot on the gas pedal I am taking a risk: will I hit a deer, coyote, another car, or a cyclist?  It’s a risk that I take, and one that I accept. 

And I do it every day without fear. 

For the past couple of months I have been experiencing anxiety in various aspects of my life, and have used different methods to cope with it.  The reasons for my anxiety are many, but the conclusion I have reached is this: it can’t go on anymore like this.  

I am over living in a life of fear and anxiety.  Fear and anxiety inhibit us from what we truly want to do, how we want to live our lives, and who we love.

What I’ve learned is rather than ignore these fears is to welcome them and to adapt to the situation.  I have been practicing this for the past couple of months and all I can say is that things have become much better.    

I have a fear of many things: war, poverty, death, and loss. As a way to combat these fears, I’ve learned to accept them; just like I’ve learned to accept the risk I take each day getting into my car.

I will still experience fear and anxiety, but now I know that I am in control of how I react to them.

Things might work out.

They might not.

If I accept this, I can learn to be present and enjoy the moment.

Here are a few helpful links that have helped me in my journey. 

Peace Revolution Guided Meditation

An Anxiety Expert Explains How to Make Panic Attacks Your Bitch

Self Compassion Exercises