"Fall down seven times, get up eight."
"If you want something bad enough, then you have to be willing to fight for it."
I'm a fighter. I don't mean that as in I pick fights among people and cause trouble. I mean it as in I'm a stubborn person who will do what she sets out to do, and isn't afraid to defy odds.
I got to pondering over this subject today while randomly thinking about how much I like the fighting breeds in the animal world; primarily poultry and dogs. From Pumpkin Hulseys to Pit Bulls. Sweater stags to Staffordshire Bull terriers. I love, love, love these fierce breeds that so many people shy away from. When people learn of my rather odd fascination for fighting animals, they ask if I like them for the illegal sport of pitting animal against animal in a brutal contest to the death. No. I don't like that stuff. And I'm not for it.
I like these headstrong breeds for their character. I like their grit, determination, courage, and fierce loyalty. I like that. They've got a fighting spirit that I highly admire and try to maintain in my life. Fall down seven times, get up eight. That old proverb never mentions falling down that eighth time, but it implies a dogged spirit that will get up again no matter what. It is a warning to those who dare to mess with us. We cannot be stopped.
I struggle with fear. With feeling insecure, worthless, useless, and invisible. These are all lies I tell myself; I know that they are lies. But they are hard to shake nevertheless; they hang in the back of my mind like cobwebs just out of my reach. Silently taunting me day and night. They are my perpetual ghosts that I must either listen to, or fight off. I have a tendency to listen to them until I remember that old proverb... Get up eight times. So get up I do, and fight my battles. Fight not only my mental ones, but the ones that I meet with daily. The problems, struggles, and topsy turvy happenings. Things worth having often have to be fought for. They will require blood, sweat and tears. Do I - do we - have the tenacity and perseverance to keep up the good fight?
Besides loving those fighting breeds of animals, I also love learning physical fighting methods. Self defense, skills with knives, archery, firepower... I enjoy it all, and would love to someday learn karate or kung fu. Some might think me brutal, but I like it because knowing these things helps replace my fear with confidence. I am prepared for the worst, am trained to be aware of my surroundings, and while I hope and pray that I never find myself in a bad situation, I do not fear the possibility as much as I used to. I sometimes wonder what sort of message I cast to random people on the streets with my body language... Do I give the impression of a fearful person or a confident one? Do I seem approachable, or would a person rather go to someone else with their question? I want to be confident, yet approachable. One person made an offhand comment to me the other day that between my body language and the pocket knife that is forever present on my self, I give the impression of being a confident person who is ready to conquer the world. I gave the person a quizzical look at that comment; I often feel like my fear must show through my mask... I do not feel like a person ready to conquer the world most of the time, but I am slowly learning to let that fear sink into oblivion where it belongs. I want to be a confident, strong character. A fighter.
More than just being able to fight for myself though, I want to be able to be able to defend those who I care for. And you know what? Defending my friends and family can require more than physical demands. It may mean standing up them when they are being treated unjustly. It normally doesn't bother me when someone tries to downgrade or belittle me; I can usually handle that fairly well. What riles me is when someone dares to insult, accuse, or otherwise hurt my family or friends. Hurt me. Make me your victim. Take me instead. But don't you dare hurt my family or friends. Otherwise you will unleash a fury neither you or I will be completely prepared for. My sense of justice rebels at the thought of an innocent person getting needlessly hurt. I don't have many good qualities to proclaim for myself, but loyalty is one that I will put on that very short list...
Sometimes you want something, but logic - and possibly people - says it's not possible for you. Do you take on the attitude of a defeatist and give up at that? Or do you rise to the challenge and prepare for a stout battle? Sometimes you gotta' fight for what you want. And I'm not saying fight against the people who say 'no'. I'm saying you're probably going to have to fight against the odds, against yourself. Get ready for the blood, the sweat, the tears. The pain, the wait, the anguish. Folks have said it's impossible because it's a hard road. So be prepared to fight. If you truly want something, you may have give it all you've got. Whether it's a farm, a college education, or what-have-you. Life it a perpetual test of our perseverance and determination. And just know that some folks will most likely try to trod on you, on your dream, on your goal. Listen to those people and see if their words hold any truth. If they do, then look into making changes. If not, then disregard. Get up that eight time.
I love the fighting breeds of animals because they are a tangible example of what it means to keep going even when all seems lost. They will keep going, keep fighting, keep daring, even when the odds are grossly against them. They're a reminder to me to keep up that courage and grit. To keep trying, stay loyal, and stand up for yourself. Not a bad lesson to learn from a chicken and a dog...