"For the warrior, the experience of a sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fealessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that if someone hits you, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness.
Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness." Chogyam Trungpa
A short time ago, a friend gave me a book. . .
a self-help book, which normally I would run away from.
I'm just being honest.
But this one is different.
It's written for a real person. By a real person.
It's full of wonderful life experiences and I have found myself sucked into it -
reading little bits every day and feeling uplifted, inspired and stronger.
In fact, it is full of little sticky notes where I have read passages that jump off the page at me.
The above passage jumped off the page at me today.
I have a another very good friend - who teaches martial arts.
He refers to this craft as being a "peaceful warrior".
Now normally, I would have heard that phrase and I wouldn't have given it any attention.
But the word "warrior" is not one that I think of or use in my daily communications.
It has a connotation of someone who is fierce and scary and who likes to fight.
Some like the street fighter that Trungpa refers to.
Someone who gets pleasure out of fighting.
Or it conjures up images of Melk Gibson in Braveheart.
And if you know me very well . . .you know that I have never watched that movie because, again -
the idea of a warrior makes me uncomfortable.
In fact - it scares me a little.
So why am I hearing this word so often lately.
Seriously - it seems like I keep hearing and seeing this word.
What I am supposed to learn from this?
Then today, I read the above quote in my book.
And there is that warrior word again.
And Chogyam Trungpa states that a true warrior is tender.
A true warrior has experienced sadness and has a tender heart.
And as my friend stated - a warrior is peaceful.
OK - obviously, I meant to learn a lesson here.
I have expereienced a lot of sadness this last six months.
I feel like I have been in a battle every day.
I have also experienced a lot of joy.
Big, little and medium sized victories -
I like to think that I have a tender heart.
Heaven knows - if I am in your presence and you begin to weep over something that is weighing you down . . .
I can guarantee I will be sharing your tears with you.
I tend to be very empathetic to others.
And as I continue to emerge from the experiences I have had over the last year,
I find that anger is one of the few emotions that I am NOT feeling.
Oh don't get me wrong - I have moments of being upset . . .even mad.
But anger is not an emotion that is dominating me right now.
I'm not angry with my circumstances or my ex husband or the universe . . .
quite the opposite.
I am curious as to what I can learn and share from this experience.
I am filled with compassion for my ex husband for the struggles that he is going through.
Does that mean I am being a doormat and am willing to not hold him accountable for his actions?
But I am filled with compassion and empathy.
I am filled with tendernes.
Through this experience I am learning a deeper sense of compassion and tenderness . . .
and I am learning to be more compassionate and tender to . . .
wait for it . . .
Oh boy - is that ever new for me!
Compassion and tenderness and empathy -
those are emotions you have for other people - not yourself? Right?
I mean - as a wife, a mother . . .a woman -
we have a tendency to put everyone elses needs before our own.
To not do that is selfish.
But how many of us keep doing that and then one day we wake up, look in the mirror and find that we are no longer in there?
We have lost ourselves.
I have looked back on all of the things that I removed from my life in order to be the perfect, selfless woman -
I gave up on friendships, interests and passions.
But those were all things that made me who I was.
So - I became lost.
It's almost a new year.
And I have never been one to spend a lot of time lamenting over resolutions.
I don't really see the point in looking at ways to improve myself based on a date on the calendar.
But this year is different.
And I have already been working on those resolutions.
And my number one resolution? -
to put myself first.
Not in a selfish way - but in a way that allows me to be a better person in order to give those around me what they need.
To allow myself to continue to grow a more tender heart.
And I can't emotionally do that without caring for myself first.
I will be more tender with myself.
I will forgive myself for my faults and take responsibility for them so that I can improve.
I will learn to say no to those things and more importantly - those people - that make me feel like less of a person - or who seperate me from my true purpose.
I am going to work on becoming FEARLESS.
And - here is where I am going to go out on a limb -
I am going to work to become a WARRIOR!