Lesson #7:

Cinderella was right

I am shamelessly addicted to watching criminal suspense documentaries/series on streaming services. In one of our recent conversations, my best friend and I were talking about why we love it so much and I came to the realization that I am always actively searching for what predators know about me, that I don’t even know. In a strange way, I think if I learn something then I will be less likely to become prey. Let me explain, if you’ve ever seen “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” there is a line in the movie that has stuck with me for years. Martin says to Mikael, “it’s hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain. You know what? It is. And they always come willingly.” I have only seen the movie once (it was hard for me to watch – beware!), but I remember those words because I started to frantically search through painful memories for all the times that my fear of pain had been overridden and came to the harsh realization that this was true. How could predators know more about me, than I noticed about myself?

Women were gifted with intuition and it is something that I very strictly try to follow in my life. When I say intuition, I am referring to my ability as a woman, to be able to assess a situation without knowing all of the answers and details. Before logic is ever entered into my brain, I already have an unexplainable reasoning for why I feel a certain way. I try to foster that within my daughter in the small ways that I can. Oftentimes our fear of pain stems from not trusting the person we are around. Last year she did not feel comfortable sitting on Santa’s lap and I did not force her to take the traditional crying baby photo. We walked up as close as she felt comfortable to Santa and she watching him as he spoke with other children. She was doing her own assessment of the situation; I never want her to override her fear of pain for fear of offending someone. You will never find me forcing her to hug or touch a family member (I always offer a high five alternative) because I want her to be able to trust her gut of who she can feel comfortable around.

Then there are other people who are just simply amazing like my sister, Samantha. Samantha has this amazing gift where she can feel people’s energy (stay with me, I promise it’s not all hippy dippy). You could have a beaming smile, come skipping into the house and she is able to pick up on your energy and will know if you’re scared, overwhelmed, frustrated all without saying a word. I hope it’s a trait she trusts as she grows older.

I bring this up, because I have found that time sin my life that I have gotten into the most trouble is because I went against my fear of pain. I didn’t want to offend the guy at the club that was getting overly touchy with me even though I was afraid he was going to hurt me if I asked him to stop. When the stranger came up at the gas station to talk to me and ask for money, I gave them money so they wouldn’t be offended if I just walked away. Because of this, I have a very strict 2:00am rule. If you know me in real life you know how strict I am with this rule. My close friends will joke that I turn into a pumpkin, like Cinderella, at 2:00am and vanish.

A couple years ago I went to Nashville to work on a certification for a week. That Friday night, everyone decided they would go out to Broadway Street to celebrate. Drinks were flowing, great country music was playing and like Cinderella, I looked down at my watch and saw it was 1:50am. I just left the bar, and did not tell any of the strangers in my class where I was going and then I was leaving. I know how irresponsible that sounds, I just felt safer leaving then going back into the bar and potentially stalling my steadfast “nothing good happens after 2:00am” rule.

I say this because I care about you, and through personal experience I can tell you that setting boundaries for yourself is healthy. Especially for my women reading this, think about the times in your life where you have put yourself in a compromising situation – do you find any truth in our human reaction not wanting to offend someone overrides our animal instinct fear of pain?

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