Conquering the Beast
I had hardly settled into my recliner when Leonardo Dicaprio was mauled by a grizzly bear in the cinematic experience known as The Revenant. The images on the screen were so visceral, that I fought the urge to flee from the theater. I don’t camp, hike, fish or hunt, and yet I have always had an unrelenting fear of being attacked by a bear. I want to believe that my desire to survive would kick in when faced with actual danger, but past experiences fill me with doubt.
My automatic “go to” strategy when dealing with an obstacle has always been to make myself as small and weak as possible. Stay down on the ground in the fetal position, and perhaps the unavoidable heartache will realize I am not worth the trouble. With absolute certainty, I can reveal that this path of least resistance has NEVER protected me. A closer review of advice from wise wildlife professionals has forced me to reevaluate my plan.
Should you come face to face with a bear, experts recommend that you stay calm, keep your eyes on the animal, and back away slowly. If that is not an option, you must stand your ground, continue to speak in a strong/calm voice, and make yourself look larger in order to intimidate the bear. DO NOT run under any circumstances. I have committed these recommendations to memory, but the chances of me actually meeting a bear while on the couch watching Netflix are slim. From my personal experience, however, I accept that there are dangerous creatures that are nearly impossible to evade.
If you are alive…you will suffer. Over the past few years, I have intentionally adjusted the way in which I react to perceived crisis. Prayer, exercise, laughter, and writing have allowed me to stay calmer in the midst of the storm. Instead of taking cover, I keep my eyes open and stand my ground. My voice becomes a weapon, as I battle with powerful truth. My destination is clear, therefore running away is not an option. I am in no way minimizing the overwhelming tragedies that take up residence in our lives. However, we must make the decision now how to respond to the inevitable attacks.
Own your strength and bravely display the scars from your hard-fought battles. Most of all, remember you are not alone. Together… we will conquer any beast that dares to get in our way.