We are taught at a young age to protect ourselves from bullies or strangers on the street. I took Taekwondo when I was about ten years old because my parents thought it would be useful for me. Thankfully, I’ve never had to bust out my skills but if the time comes, ya girl is ready…. to run!!!
Something I’ve been learning this past year is that defending yourself is stupid. I’m not talking about going all Jackie Chan on somebody like in Rush Hour. I’m referring to the ordinary moments of life. How many times do we defend ourselves to avoid failure or criticism? How many times do we defend ourselves from what seemingly looks and feels dangerous or uncomfortable?
Yet, defending yourself in essence is just fear- fear that criticism, experiences, failures and loss will hurt you and undo you. It’s fear that you’ll look incompetent, unoriginal or unable to achieve what you wanted to achieve. This is honestly how I subconsciously think sometimes. I refrain from being vulnerable and open to avoid criticism. I’m actually a very honest person and I’m pretty proud of it. Who has the guts to tell people the truth these days, huh?! But lately I’ve been stopping myself from saying certain things because I’ve been hurt by how people react. It’s wisdom in some sense on my part, because I can be a bit blunt and cold hearted but sometimes I think I take it too seriously. I also catch myself being afraid to try new things when I desperately want to. I put a stop in the different passions that I have because I am afraid and I defend by not even trying at all.
But, I’ve come to realize that at the end of the tunnel, there is no need to defend from fear. No doubt, these “threats” can and will hurt you. You will fail and you will get hurt by how things pan out and how people react at times. But in the end, these experiences cannot wreck you or defeat you. They can only build, form and make you stronger. Shout outs to Kanye, he knew what he was singin. What’s more important is recognizing the habit to defend, putting our guards down and diving forth. And it’s so worth it because you’re freer than you were before.
That’s the point of this blog. I’m letting down my defenses, putting down the walls, knowing that I will probably cringe at these posts a year from now, but it doesn’t matter because I’ve made the effort to become more bare- skinned from where I started.