We don’t know one another’s fears.
We may sympathize. We may empathize. It may make sense to us why someone fears something. But there is no way to feel, and know, someone else’s fear.
I was downstairs doing my martial arts forms and punching the punching bag. Punch awhile. Do some forms. Back to punching. I found myself punching without rhythm. Without any pattern. Which is odd for me.
Then I wondered what would happen if I actually did this to someone. Punch them. With this intensity. When we got the new punching bag I broke the straps holding it on the third day. I’m not fast but I’m strong. As my thoughts are beyond my control sometimes, they just took off. If I did punch someone, or do this ridge hand strike, or this backfist I’d probably get in trouble. I’d probably hurt someone. I’d get arrested. I’d go to trial.
Vivid imagination. I know.
I tried to redirect my thoughts. Tried to sing out loud with the music in my ears from the MP3 player. But my thoughts were drowning out the music and words. I couldn’t even hear it after a few minutes.
The only reason I would ever hit someone is if they were hurting or threatening someone I love, or myself.
At least that was the plan when I started taking control of my life. Get in shape. Martial arts. Work out and learn confidence. Power. And self protection. To be honest I have never had to physically use martial arts to defend myself. I have used it in all areas of my life. I have developed a strong sense of self discipline, a manner of holding myself that says I believe in me. I know I can’t control everything in my life, but I can control some things. I have become stronger. Inside and out.
Back to punching this morning.
If someone was hurting or threatening my child, my grandchild, and I defended us all. If I hit someone. Like I’m purposefully hitting this bag. If I hurt someone. And I had to then defend that. If I had sit in a chair and speak to people who would question why I did what I did. If I had to make you understand the only reason I would intentionally strike out at another human being.
Could I make you understand?
Then I saw my daughters. And I saw their children.
Yes, these thoughts are playing while I am punching.
And do you know what I did while I was punching?
While I saw these children who are my heart beats.
This is embarrassing. No. No it’s not.
I started to cry. I thought of the things that I’ve heard this week at work. I flashed on things that I know people do to one another, to children, to old people, to defenseless people. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of power. Emotional and tremendous power. The tears were short lived as I punched through them.
I have a bit of dramatic flair in my thoughts. But I didn’t need any flair or imagination. I know the reality of being hurt. I know the reality of being scared. Threatened. I know the reality of feeling defenseless.
Punch. Punch. Punch.
Don’t threaten my children’s safety. Don’t hurt them. Don’t put them in fear. Don’t put your hands on them. Don’t put your hands on me. You don’t know my fear. You don’t know the terrors that live within me. To take away my rights by putting your intent to harm us in any way is not going to happen. And my right to be safe does indeed trump your error in thinking that you have the right to hurt me.
Punch. Punch. Punch.
My terrors are real. And they live within me. I can’t erase them. I have become stronger than the terrors within, but they exist. Punch. I will do everything I can to make sure these terrors never move in on the children on my watch. In my life.
I’m not a violent person. Punching this bag is okay. It’s a work out. I found a little rhythm. Punch. Punch. Punch. And I decided. While I punched the bag. That I will punch. If you try to create fear, be fear, instill fear in to my heart. Or my heart beats.