My great-niece Karys and I went to see the latest Star Wars movie this weekend. We liked it….well, except for that one part that I am still pretending didn’t happen. (The Force had to be with him and things are not how they appear….that’s all I’m saying. Karys tells me I am wrong.) (sob)
But one of the things I liked most about the movie were the female characters. I love old movies and fairy tales and books galore, but I do get annoyed when they portray shrinking, sniveling women who just curl up and wait for someone to save them. Star Wars had strong, smart women….warrior women who may need saving on occasion, but were also able to do some of the saving themselves. There wasn’t a spectator…the women and the men worked together, using their own special skills and strengths. They could shed a few tears now and then, but they came out fighting.
To “my girls”….of all generations….you are strong. Even when you don’t feel like it. When you feel spent, there are reserves hidden inside of you…pull them out. You don’t have to be cast as a victim. Yes, sometimes we are victimized…..but even then, come out fighting. Choose to be a warrior instead.
Keep in mind your weapons are not always physical, though they can be. Get physically strong, stay in good fighting shape. There are many benefits. Take a self defense class when you see it offered, or watch videos on You Tube. No matter what your condition or training, if you are attacked you can kick and claw and punch and poke eyes and slam noses and knee crotches and do everything you need to do to defend yourself. Be forceful and tenacious. Look them in the eyes and let them know you do not plan to give up. They watched those old movies and somehow thought you would be a passive victim. Show them you are more.
There shouldn’t be many times in your life that physical fighting is necessary (and if there are, you probably need to get out of that situation), but if physically attacked fight like a wildcat. (Or as we say in North Carolina, fight like a panther…grrrrrrrl!) But remember the physical is not your only weapon.
Your greatest defense is your brain. Keep it alert. Keep it in your control. When I say in your control, I mean don’t hand it over to the control of another person or to a place where you are defenseless due to drugs or alcohol. That brain is yours, it is precious, and you are entrusted to keep it strong and powerful. Our brains don’t come to us fully loaded…doing that is your responsibility. Exercise it. Learn new things. Not because someone tells you to, but because you want to be smarter and ready for any situation. Take pride in your ability to capture information and then figure out when and how you can apply it.
Don’t just read books, though reading books is great, but also develop those street smarts. How do you do that? Watch people. What choices are they making? Are they good or bad? Could another way lead to a better outcome for them? Apply this same concept to yourselves. You will make mistakes. Admit them…and figure out a game plan to avoid them in the future. Fantasize….play little mind games….think of situations people find themselves in and put yourself in that scene. You are the hero….what choices would you make?
Have a strategy for living a good life. Have goals, have dreams, and be willing to work for them. You don’t often hit a target if you don’t aim for it. Don’t waste your arrows…shoot at a target. Know what you stand for….and make sure it is for something noble.
Most of all, build a great community. It really does matter who your friends are. They are the ones who really care about the kind of person you are. Look for the superheroes. The real ones….not the pretend ones. They may be slightly flawed human beings on the outside, but look for their superpowers. Look for the kind people, the smart people, the strong people, the people who share your dreams and vision of how the world should be. Don’t worry if they don’t look just like you, or don’t act just like you. Have a great combination of strengths and appreciate those in each other. If you are weak in a certain area, look for the folks who can help make you stronger. Teach others to be stronger, too, to get better at what they do. Build each other up…only tear down what you plan to rebuild.
Find those you want to be in your closest circle…female and male….and cherish who they are. Contrary to what some will tell you, not all women/girls are catty, mean, and out to get you. If you find some are, you can either walk away from them or teach them kindness. Look for those who are loyal truth tellers.
The same with men/boys. Don’t fit them all into a mold. Like with women, learn to recognize the bad ones, but also don’t overlook the good ones. Look beyond their skin, as you want them to look beyond yours. Try to avoid those who put you on a pedestal…because you are not a china doll. Instead look for those who see the real you, appreciate you, see your strength, accept your strength, respect you, and are worthy of your respect.
You’ll fight a lot of battles in life, though probably not with Star Wars special effects. Truth is the battles you may fight may be harder. More subtle. Less flash, more substance. Eternally important. Most battles will be better fought surrounded by that circle who you have chosen to be your posse. They will have your back, and you will have theirs.
Let God lead you. Let his force be with you. It is strong and with it you will be mighty. You were not created to be a mushroom and hide in the shadows. So ladies, get up and pull out that sword and head to the light, even if it requires you travel for a time through darkness. Be strong and courageous, whatever you face. You have battles to win….and you, my girl, are already the hero.