The wounded warrior stands, to the last, to defend the castle. She or he is heroic, brave, true and defensive. And that last one isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on what we’re going through.
Don’t get me wrong. I truly believe that sometimes we are under attack. Someone has it out for us and we must do something to either defend ourselves or remove ourselves from the situation. If you choose the latter, if you can walk away, do walk away. Sometimes, you get to the point where it is no longer safe or good for you to remain where you are. Whether it’s a job, an awkward meeting with an Ex, or a living situation, it doesn’t matter. What matters is taking care of yourself. When you’re done, be done. And then do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
We tend to think the situation in which we find ourselves is the only way things can be. We get stuck in the pattern or the paradigm and we don’t remember that we can change it or at least shift it. And, we can. What stops us? Sometimes, it’s habit or inertia. Often, we just aren’t paying attention and suddenly we wake up and realize that we’ve been in a painful situation for quite some time. And then we begin the laborious process of making the changes that we need to make in order to feel better.
Certainly, we can remain where we find ourselves, stuck and miserable, but when we get to rock bottom, when we’re forced into that corner, we’ll make changes. We’ll get into “fight or flight” and strike out in one or the other of them. The thing is that those actions are often bigger and more explosive than they would be if we had nipped the situation in the bud. When we’re fighting for (what might feel like) our lives, we go big or we go home. And that can burn bridges we didn’t want to burn in the first place. Remember, that quote that I’ve written about before, “Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that they actually look forward to the trip.”* If we want to remove ourselves from a situation, let’s make it as far from incendiary as possible. Let’s kill ’em with kindness and then get the heck out.
If however, we choose to defend ourselves, in some respects, we are choosing the much tougher road. Defending ourselves against those who have power over us in some way is particularly challenging because it can be risky. We need to be careful about how we do what we do, but we still need to do it. If we need to put up arms to show ourselves to be righteous, then so be it. Again though, stay vigilant and make sure you that you are true to yourself in your defense. Don’t accuse others. Just defend yourself. If you can, let go of your bitterness. I’m not going to tell you to let go of your anger. Anger can be a positive force provided you don’t take it out on those who don’t deserve it. Anger can help propel you to great heights, but keep everything in perspective. Don’t give in to the Dark Side. Let your anger help you make a clean sweep if that’s what you need but stay on course and don’t hurt anyone (least of all yourself).
So today, defend yourself, if you need to, but then lay down your arms. Don’t go too far, go only as far as you need to to keep your peace of mind. Stay vigilant but not paranoid.
Be like the aikido master. Harmonize with your opponents’ energy to help them go where they were trying to go and then help them go just a little bit farther than that. Then, they’ll be out of your hair and you can go on with your life.