Fighting back isn’t about destruction, retaliation, revenge or tit-for-tat or an eye-for-an-eye. Nor is it about backing down and submitting. It is simply about responding in a way that minimises the threat and danger so that the situation now, and in the future, doesn’t worsen. Often it is about (self) empowerment, identifying our strengths, values and resilience and building up those strengths and our belief in ourselves, as well as seeking support and encouragement outside ourselves when needed.
It is simply about feeling safe or at least “safer”.
Fighting back allows us a clearer, safer path to move forward.
Some of the “safety” areas covered about by educators, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, emergency and protective personnel and medical professionals include:-
Emotional safety is said to come from within us, where we are able to identify, acknowledge and accept our feelings (positive or negative) and sit with them and endure them. Loss of trust in someone else often effects our emotional safety as it attacks our sense of judgement and our entire belief systems or self-concept.
Our psychological safety can be threatened by experiences in our childhood or at any stage of our life, illness, trauma, disease, loss, neglect, bullying, cyber-bullying, intimidation, abuse, loss of independence, control or capacity; loss of freedom etcPhysical safety is one that we are much more aware of as the consequential damage can be so visible.
Our physical safety can be threatened by the actions of others, war, natural disasters, disease, accidents, toxins, crime, environment, illness etc.And then we have to remember, that these are all not discrete states that exist exclusive of one another. They are like three overlapping circles, overlapping with each other, and overlapping all together at the intersection of the three circles.
So basically there has always been and always will be aspects of life that are not safe. So how we go about making ourselves feel safer will always depend on our own personal factors as well as the situation.
This blog is not the place to address each and every situation and find strategies, other than to say, that we all have a right to feel safe, and that when we don’t feel safe, we have a right to “fight back” in some appropriate way. We should especially empower ourselves, as well as others, to live and work towards safer, better futures for all.
I love the words of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” which is so much about this !
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My powers turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care
If nobody else believes
Cause I've still got
A lot of fight left in me
Now I've still got a lot of fight left in me
As part of my personal project supporting the work and philosophy of the United Nations, The Coalition for Adolescent Girls, and the #heforshe Movement, I have just released my next video of the “Girl Talk” series. This video, with the help of the amazing Mads Rafferty (IG @mads.rafferty, website madsrafferty.com.au), my brother Sam (IG: @samearp), “Sparkles” and Courtney, explains and demonstrates some of the moves you might be able to use when your physical safety is threatened. Hope you like it…
Love and light,