With Christmas coming up this may not be the most festive topic but I think it's extremely important. As I've been thinking about what tip to write about I can't think of anything that doesn't relate back to this very simple principle.
It's the foundation of self defense. Before you learn fancy moves or jedi mind tricks you have to ask yourself a question. This question, although it's very simple to ask, can actually be quite difficult to answer. Here it is:
Are you willing to fight?
Take a second to pause and actually reflect on that question. If your answer is yes then I have some follow up questions below but if it's not a yes...
If your answer is no, or maybe, or even if it's "only in certain situations" what are those situations?
Before we get too far into a discussion on self defense we really have to dig into answering the question, "What am I willing to defend and how far am I willing to go to defend it?"
Are you willing to hurt someone that's trying to hurt you? What if they were trying to hurt your family? How 'bout a complete stranger?
We all have lines that we aren't willing to cross but sometimes we don't know where those lines are until we are faced with a situation. I dont know about you but I don't want to have a personal ethical mealtdown in the heat of the moment. Instead, I do my best to think through posibilities and make decisions when I'm not under the crazy amounts of stress. My hope is that if I make those decisions now it will prepare me if, God forbid, I actually have to make them later.
Here's just a short list of some of the questions that I ask myself.
Where is my line? and by that I mean, when will I start fighting?
During a vocal confrontation before it turns physical will I under certain circumstances, initiate physical contact or will I stick to the playground rule my dad gave me?
His rule went something like this, "Don't ever START a fight but if THEY start it you better finish it."
Think about these question for yourself.
Will you wait till after you've been physically assaulted and then fight?
Will you fight to protect a stranger? What kind of strangers will you not fight for?
Are you willing to be transported? (*Hint* I'd recomend a no answer here)
Are you willing to physically fight someone smaller than you?
Are you willing to gouge eyes, break bones or otherwise damage someones body permanently?
Are you willing to take a life if that's what it takes?
These questions are complex and difficult but they are all important. Click her and tell me about any that stand out to you. I have opinions on all of them but you will need to think through them all and answer each according to your own context and belief system.
If you're stuggling to picture yourself inflicting damage on another person that's actually probably a good thing. It means you have a soul. When you stop having a problem with the idea of hurting another human being, we need to talk. But assuming that you have wrestled with these questions a bit, lets dig a bit deeper.
The question, "Are you willing to fight?" is actually based on a more foundational question. Are you worth defending? In my view, I am worth defending because my daughter and my church count on me as a leader and provider. If I was gone, my daughter would grow up without a dad and I'm not okay with sacrificing her future because someone decided they wanted to hurt me for a foolish reason. I am worth defending because as a person, I have value that has been given to me by God. I bear his image and that is worth defending.
I have drawn lines, that I am not willing to cross. I have situations in my mind that I wont fight for. Situations where I would chose my death over the death of someone else, maybe even my attacker. But I can also think of situations where a person's actions and/or intent to harm others have caused them to forfeighted their right to life and I am willing to take it.
That's not a decision I take lightly and you shouldn't either. It's also not a very Merry Christmas message but when we discuss self defense we need to know the boundaries. How far are you willing to go to defend yourself and those you love.
Please respond with your answer so that I can tailor upcoming women's self defense tips to your specific situations and boundaries.
I hope you all have a great Christmas.