When faced with perceived danger do you stay and fight or do you flee the scene?
I always thought I was a fighter and I was proud of that fact. These days, I’m not so sure it’s always the right choice to fight the good fight, slog it out to the death, and persevere despite the crippling odds. These days I’m selective about when I put my gloves on.
Only today though, I had a conversation with a strong, composed, and successful woman who told me that she becomes savage and finds an inexplicable physical strength when she feels physically threatened. Credit where credit is due – this feels heroic to me.
But what of the others (the LOTS of others) who talk to me about a spiritual danger? They describe a nagging feeling that I have felt recently. They feel small. They feel incomplete. They feel dissatisfied with life. I know that feeling well. It was only last week I decided to take myself seriously. I submitted my book for self-publishing and I started a blog, determined to validate my own existence as an author. Some might argue this is a fight response, but it’s not. I’m fleeing my old life. The people I talk to, the spiritually at risk people, they want to flee their old lives too. They want to run. And run, and run, and run until they take off, soaring after their own contentment. They want flight. And so do I.
I can’t remember what was happening in my life when I wrote the piece below. I don’t remember who or what the fodder was (yes, it’s true – stealing versions of the truth to offer up to the Gods of fiction is my bag), but I found it today and it seems like a good time to share it so share it I will.
If there had been a fracture in Time itself, a deep, gaping wound where so many moments would have been, would you have let yourself slip into it? Would you have dived purposefully from the lip of Time’s bruised and bloodied flesh and allowed yourself to fall through eternity, unclear of where or when you would end up, just to escape that precise moment in time? Fight of flight, Sister? Which would you have chosen?
It is delicious, a realisation such as this one, when ideals are turned on their heads. Fight always seemed so noble, so gallant. It turns out flight is a much more terrifying and courageous path to follow, a more heroic dive to attempt. To fight is a lesser evil. The enemy wears a set of familiar faces. It is a known quantity. Flight carries the weight of the dense unknown and a terrifying lack of destination. Flight wears only one inescapable, unavoidable face – your own. When you run, wherever you run to, you have only yourself left to turn to. It is brave to flee without knowing if you are enough for yourself.