Something Worth Fighting For
Once upon a time, a young man was thrown into a cage of lions and quickly cornered by the huge beasts who were roaring and pawing the air, playing with him before he was torn to shreds. He cowered in the corner of the cage, feeling totally powerless and hopeless, finally winding up in a fetal position on the cold, damp floor, waiting for death.
Abruptly, silence filled the enclosure like heavy fog. The young man sensed the lions were gone. "What was happening?" he wondered. And then suddenly he again heard the terrible sound of lions roaring! To his abject horror, he saw his beautiful fiancé lying sprawled on the opposite end of this prison cell, surrounded by the threatening lions.
Without giving thought to his own safety, the young man jumped to his feet, adrenaline surging through his body! He ran head-long toward the lions, screaming, yelling, frantic to do anything to save his bride-to-be! His sudden, threatening appearance seemingly confused the lions, and they backed away.
The lion tamer standing nearby stated, "I see you've found something worth fighting for."
Now, most of us probably won’t wind up in a lion’s cage fearful for our lives. Generally, our lions are not physical animals. Our lions are internal, emotional thoughts – but they’re just as threatening as those four-footed kings of the jungle. We tremble in jail cells of silence, mouths internally taped shut lest the past come bursting forth. Some of those thoughts might sound like this:
“What if they leave me?”
“If people see who I really am, no one will love me or even like me anymore!”
“What if I can’t handle talking about what happened? I’ll wind up in the looney bin!”
And so we stay silent. And we stay enslaved.
Some all-too-common “secrets” that can keep us imprisoned:
- Abuse – Sexual, physical, emotional
- Addictions – Drinking, drugs, pornography, gambling
- Affairs – Emotional, one-night stands or long-lasting relationships
My client “Mary” had just such a secret, one she had kept for almost 40 years, but now the prison bars were beginning to bulge and break. Face in her hands, body bent over in pain, she sobbed uncontrollably. Her pain-filled words: "It's all my fault, I can't stand it, I don't know what to do" were repeated again and again.
Her teenage daughter had been raped by Mary's current boyfriend, and now Mary, the self-reported black sheep of her family, the one known for drinking and partying, was faced with emotions she'd never allowed herself to feel.
In the midst of that pain and long suppressed emotions, however, Mary had found something worth fighting for – her daughter.
For the first time, Mary confessed she too had been sexually abused at the age of 5 or 6. All the anger, hurt, confusion, pain, betrayal and shame she had pushed down deep into her soul and covered with alcohol, promiscuity and hanging out at the bars came rushing up in a volcano of suppressed emotions as she saw her daughter thrown to the lions of sexual abuse.
For the first time, she didn't seek refuge in a bottle or at a bar
For the first time, she began saying aloud what her inner self had been hiding for many years.
For the first time, she was facing a lot of fear, but she was looking her tormentor straight in the eyes and not backing down!
For the first time, Mary has the chance to heal, to hope, to recover. She had found
Something Worth Fighting For
Have you found something worth fighting for? Something that makes you give up the addiction to silence, denial and running from the past? “John” had a drinking problem caused by, he shamefacedly admitted in a counseling session, the need for his father’s approval. “Susan” feared what others would think of her if she was truthful. She had been lying for years, about things large and small. John and Susan, like Mary, found a life of freedom when a DUI and a divorce respectively brought them to a place where they found something worth fighting for.
It’s actually quite amazing what you can do when you come up out of the corner with a fighting spirit. You may need to ask for help. You may need to learn new skills. You may have to take responsibility, take some risks. However, when that desire comes from deep within, you find opportunities instead of obligations, freedom instead of fear and purpose that makes you feel alive!
When the lions roar loudly in your life, look around you, look deep inside you – and find something worth fighting for!
Barb’s Stories From The Couch
Words to inform, motivate, challenge and inspire