So not too long ago, my new book, The Becoming Bulletproof Project, came out. The subtitle is called Discovering the Hero Within. Discovering – that’s what it’s ALL about.
Anyway, a little few weeks ago a reader wrote and asked me about the honesty of a hero. His observation was that it was hard to know what to believe from all of those people, like myself, who try to help others by telling them what is possible but maybe fail to help others from not telling them what is real. Specifically, he was talking about injuries or moments when those heroes have been hurt, have hurt themselves, or were tested by the very information they were sharing. His point was that it is hard to know what to believe when all he can find is what they are willing to share as “the way” but none seem to share their misses, fears, mishaps, or proof they walk what they talk.
His point was valid to me, as I have done the same thing. What I’m about to share is/was a guarded secret. It’s part of my story – not the whole story as that would take a book – but there is room in here to expand and continue the tale if needed. Let me explain a little…
Fear is a powerful thing, it will lie to you and lead you down a path you think is wise, safe, or for the “better good.” It will cause you to do weird things like put “secrets” in a closet so that no one will ever know about them. Because if they knew, they would know you are not a hero. You are not who you say you are. You are an imposter. You don’t know what you say you know. Your methods don’t work.
So what are heroes to do?
Heroes are real people: husbands, dads, moms, wives, brothers, sisters, coworkers…) What are those that want to help others to do? Out of the best of their mental processing, they may decide to keep secrets; not to mislead, but to “protect.” And what are they protecting? Whatever it is that fear says they will lose: credibility, reputation, status, money, friends, prestige, discounts, respect, love…
I think one reason you don’t always read or hear about someone’s issues, mishaps, mistakes, or struggles is because they are afraid that if they share them it will destroy the vision they have for whatever it is they are trying to create. It makes them seem weak or vulnerable.
I think I get it. I’ve done this. I’ve not hidden things on purpose to mislead but I’ve hidden things thinking I was protecting the greater good. I’ve hidden things I was afraid for others to know. I think we all do this to some degree. We are all afraid to be vulnerable because we want to appear invulnerable. But the problem is appearing invulnerable is not the same as being invulnerable.
“We are all afraid to be vulnerable because we want to appear invulnerable. But the problem is appearing invulnerable is not the same as being invulnerable.”
Now, back to that word above: Discovering.
Part of the hero’s journey is discovering who he or she is. In my own process of this, I’ve discovered perhaps the only way to be invulnerable (bulletproof) is to be vulnerable. But that’s a deep, deep well to go down. So I’ll just skip to the point.
Since I first learned the path to becoming bulletproof, and since Original Strength began, I have learned that the body is indeed awesomely and wonderfully made. It is made to be strong and it is made to heal. It can restore itself. Yet, in all this time of me learning this, I have injured myself a few times; times I’ve told no one about.
Why? Because I was afraid.
I looked at my injuries as failures, as proof that the message of Original Strength wasn’t what I said it was. As proof I didn’t know what I was talking about. My fear of my situations and circumstances kept me very guarded about what I would share, and like all good fears, they attacked my thoughts daily trying to convince me I was a liar, a sham, or fraud. And even worse than that – for me – my fears tried to convince me I was weak, fragile and broken. Gotta love those fears…
And that is absolutely what you do. In order to overcome your fears and become invulnerable to them, you love your fears. You learn to become vulnerable to them and embrace them. You tell them, “it’s okay” by not hiding them, but by loving them.
Then, you let them go.
You don’t hold on to them any longer, you don’t lock them in a closet, you don’t fear they will jump out and expose you one day. You embrace them and let them go, like every good fisherman: Catch and release…!
Here’s my point: I’m discovering, I’m becoming.
Last July, three days before I flew to Europe for a Pressing RESET certification, I tore my psoas. I was not listening to my body and I ignored my energy levels, because I was “checking boxes” in my personal routine and I tore my psoas. It hurt, ya’ll. It really, really hurt. I could barely walk “normal”. In fact, that’s about all I could do. It even hurt to crawl, and not just a little.
And so it began, I tore my psoas three days before a HUGE event (in my mind) where I get to share how amazingly resilient the body is and how it can heal. But I’m wounded, I did it to myself AND clearly Original Strength doesn’t work…. Do you see where this can go?
Anyway, I moved very slow during those 2 days of workshops and when I demonstrated things that used my psoas, I “faked” it. I put on a smiling face and gutted through it. By the way, did you know that almost all movements involve the psoas? I cannot even begin to describe the fear I had of sneezing – OH MY GOODNESS, the pain…
But I made it through that weekend and no one knew a thing about my secret. But then, when I returned home, the real torture started. I hurt; physically and emotionally. For MONTHS. And, to make it even better, the one thing I love to do almost more than anything, I couldn’t do; sprint.
But I hurt for MONTHS, about 6 to be open and honest. Can you imagine the mental warfare? The internal struggles that ranged from, “Your system doesn’t work,” “You can’t even heal yourself,” “You’re a loser” to “Do you think you’ll ever be able to run again?”
Clearly I couldn’t let anyone know. It would discredit everything I’ve tried to do or share. It would discredit OS, or the power of our design, or the message of hope we want to offer, or my reputation, or…
Or would it?
Thanks to my self-inflicted injury (accident caused by me living my life) here is what I’ve discovered.
All of us are wonderfully made. Made to heal when we injure ourselves physically, and made to heal when we attack ourselves mentally. Becoming bulletproof doesn’t mean never getting hurt or never getting attacked, it means overcoming the things that come. It means getting back up after you fall. It means letting go of fears and not judging yourself for having them. It means being vulnerable and not taking yourself so seriously. It means every day is an opportunity to embrace fear, to let it go, and grow from it; every day is a day to discover who we are.
“Becoming bulletproof doesn’t mean never getting hurt or never getting attacked, it means overcoming the things that come. It means getting back up after you fall. It means letting go of fears and not judging yourself for having them.”
Oh, and self inflicted injuries. They may still happen. If we choose to ignore the wisdom of our bodies, they will still happen. But it does’t negate the wonder of the body’s design, nor does it say that the body is weak and not designed to heal. The body is amazing; in it’s inherent wisdom and it’s restorative design. It knows how to heal and it will, if you allow it to. But to allow it to, you actually may have to embrace your fears about it and then let them go so you can get out of your body’s way and allow it to do what it knows how to do.
That’s what I had to do. I had to let go of the fear of my injured psoas – what it would do to my reputation and what it would do to my body. And then, with time, resets (engaging in the design), and restorative processes I was and am restored. I can sprint – I can fly, again. Good as new, strong as ever; bulletproof.
I think for the most part, we all do our best; the best we can in our moments at our level of discovery. I don’t believe any hero or expert is being malicious by not disclosing all of their issues or injuries. I think they are doing the best they know to do given the emotional attacks they battle in their brain. I think they are still trying to help the world become better.
We are all human. We want to do the right thing, it just sometimes get’s “muddied” up in the process of discovering who we are. But in the end, life still happens and we still rise because it’s the only thing we really know how to do.