What is insecurity? By default, of course, it is a lack of security. It is a state of being open, unprotected, and a lack of faith in oneself or one’s abilities. What is security? It is confidence that you can’t be harmed, that you are protected OR that you are backed up by something powerful. You have faith in yourself and in something larger. In this realm of magic and myth, the two are interconnected. An insecurity is believing you are not good enough to do “X”. A security is knowing no matter what happens, you can do “X” for the right reasons and still learn something even if you don’t succeed.
An insecurity will make you confused, anxious or be in doubt if you receive a negative comment. They undermine you. With security, you fall back on your training, you shrug it off as no big deal.
At the Morrigan’s request, I’ve been exploring the origins of my own insecurities. It’s been going on for several days now with reviews of my childhood, my adolescence, what made me me, etc. It’s a bit like volunteering to dig into your own dirt before the warrior queen standing next to you hits you with the shovel.
In martial arts there is a jumping off point beginners have to learn. It’s not only learning how to hit someone (most people just don’t know how or, thankfully, have never had to) but it’s also learning how to take a hit. How it feels to take a shot to the blocking arm or to the body. It’s learning how to deal with the pain and the distracting sensations. You eventually get to a point where you feel it but it’s not necessarily pain. It’s just a sensation and you keep going. You build up a tolerance. You also build up confidence.
Two mornings ago I had a dream with the Morrigan. As usual, she was in full black battle armor, dark mail gloves, boots and her black cloak of crow feathers. We stood on frozen bare earth, in a clearing with dark pine woods encircling us. There was not so much snow on the ground as just heavy frost. There was snow in the pines, I remember that. There was a chill in the air, little glitterings of frost in the air and I could see our breath as we spoke. The ground crunched underneath us as we stepped and moved.
She was punching me. It was a type of martial training and she kept coming in with these heavy shots of those black mailed fists. WHAM! WhaM! I kept my head covered, taking the shots, feeling their impact on my upper arm, my shoulder as I covered. I could feel the cold metal of her gauntlets hitting me, the cold making the sensation worse. As soon as a punch landed I would attempt to grab, wrap and counter-strike. She would kick me off of or slide out and then bring the other fist around. I’d dodge one or two then WHAM!
Then, we would step back. She would say something, point to my blocking arm, point to me, say something else. She was blunt, direct but I don’t remember her words. All I know is that She wanted me to get used to the feeling of being punched by a hard mailed fist. It was part of the training. I was sore and bleeding but not tired.
Then, we would go again. I’m not sure how long the dream had gone. All I know is that she stopped, nodded and did her disappearing act.
I woke up.
I chewed on the meaning of the dream for some time. Finally, she whispered a clue in my ear, “Insecurities.” And then, I understood. In the dream-time, where symbols are key, she was symbolically teaching me how to shake off the veritable “slings and arrows” that make up insecurities. She was toughening me up. I was being taught to react to those insecurities as you would take a hit in martial arts training. Don’t get emotional. It’s not personal. It’s practice.
Later in the day I heard her again and wrote this out quickly on a notepad file. “”With an insecurity, you can’t take the hit. You can’t take a negative comment. You’re scared of opinions, you scared of what others think, you allow yourself to be controlled by others and are unable to stand your ground unless angry or mad. When that happens, when emotion takes over, you cannot react with skill. A warrior should react with skill and control.”
“Insecurities bring you doubt. They cause hesitation. They knock you off-balance. In training you learn they are nothing, that they do not effect you and they do not stick. If this is practiced you are then able to act in calm and confidence. You can stand your ground without your ego interfering.”
“When you can do that, you’re ready.”
My next question was, of course, “Ready for what?”
“Growth,” was her single answer.