I have learned over the years, that the Art of Personal Safety is not only about fighting to defend myself or my loved ones from mental, emotional, or physical harm. Of course, fighting will always be there but as a last resort, when all else fails.
As I progressed, I have come to realize that the Art of Personal Safety is about living your life in a state of consciousness. Living in the here and now, paying attention to myself, and my surroundings.
I now understand, my personal safety is my responsibility. It does not belong to anyone else, but me. It is in my hands that my personal safety lies.
The goal of the Art of Personal Safety is about achieving my personal self-control. The ability to take control of my mental, emotional, and physical re-actions by not allowing the external circumstances to dictate my behaviors.
I have found it very challenging and requires tremendous amounts of personal self-control when confronted by an unyielding or unforgiving “noun.” (person, place or thing that causes mental, emotional and physical disturbance, anxiety, stress…etc.).
It is finding and having the courage to live in the “present” moment and to enjoy the “present” moment. It is a process that takes a tremendous amount of knowledge, understanding, and discipline to practice the Art of Personal Safety. To me it was a constant battle, and the enemy is ME. It does not stop because my personal safety session ended. It is a lifelong endeavor. It is not something I achieve and complete, then move on. It is a practice I have to apply into my everyday life because I am the enemy to myself, and I should not be taking myself for granted.
The ability to live in consciousness allows me to have personal self-control, which is something I lack at times. There will always be that “noun,” that one, person, place, or thing that will bring the worst out in me. When that “noun” happens, that is the moment I must be aware of my attitudes and behaviors towards it, if I am to learn from it. I have to be willing to see it, understand it, in order to learn and grow from it.
Being aware, alert, and attentive to my “present” moment within my surrounding will give me a better understanding of what needs to be addressed. With this understanding, I can see how to best apply the techniques needed for my personal safety. I must learn to pay attention to myself and the “nouns” around me. I have to be aware of my behaviors caused by the “nouns.” I have to ask myself, “Are these external stimuli affecting me mentally, emotionally, or physically?” Once I have the answer then I have the power to respond accordingly.
The response may be in the form of the fight or flight re-action. Whichever response I choose, there will always be consequences. Whatever re-action I choose, I have to accept the consequences thereafter.
A fight consequence is a physical re-action, a chosen response caused by the “noun.” A physical re-action is a defense mechanism to stop the attack from attacking me mentally, emotionally, or physically. It is a built up of compressed emotions over a long period of time. The consequence for this may be, both me and the other person engaging in a physical confrontation and both of us my be badly hurt. When it comes to this altercation, no one really wins once the emotions of anger and hatred has dissipated.
The flight consequence is a chosen re-action to escape and evade an attack. This is also a defense mechanism that keeps me from harm. It is the avoidance technique. To flee from an attack safely is protecting myself from harm. I remember being taught,
“WE are worth defending, because WE are worth it!”
I used to believe that I have to fight every “noun” that was attacking me mentally, emotionally or physically, especially in the physical area. I was ignorant and did not know how to flee. I thought fighting was the only way to defend myself. I would always go head on, with fist in hand because of my weak ego and my fear of what others might think or say.
Having an ego and feeling fear is not good or bad. It is simply an emotion that keeps me safe. Depending on the event, having an ego (self-esteem) can be a positive thing. The same with experiencing fear. Fear at times can be a wonderful emotion and can be a great teacher when I accept and understand what I am facing. There is nothing wrong with the fight or flight response. The power comes from knowing which one I will choose at that specific moment.
What it boils down to is this, the Art of Personal Safety is NOT about FAIRNESS, it is about SURVIVAL. If I have the courage and the power to avoid getting hurt or hurting someone, I would gladly take the avoidance option.
“Take care of your self and the rest will take care of itself.”
As I continue to practice the Art of Personal Safety, I now understand avoidance is the key ingredient. Anyone can learn how to fight but avoidance requires personal self-control. It takes more courage to back down from a mental, emotional, or physical attack than to actually engage in it. Preventative action or avoiding physical confrontation is a lot easier than what the majority of the people think. But without personal self-control the “ego” can make it impossible to do so.
So the most important lessons I have gained through the Art of Personal Safety is that, it is requires my lifelong commitment and dedication to stay on my journey to self-cultivation. It is not only a physical journey, but also a mental and emotional one. It is my road to self-cultivating all three areas, and I believe they have to be united and aligned to achieve the Art of Personal Safety’s goal of Personal Self-Control.
“Always Live in Awareness, Never in Fear.”