By Cranford Blackmon
If you have been to any of our classes or kept up with these illuminating articles that I write, you know that “situational awareness” is the most basic skill that must be learned before any other can effectively be used for your own safety.
Great gun skills, awesome martial arts skills, and so on are great to have. However, if you are so unaware of what’s going on around you that you allow Baddie McBadguy to get his hands on your purse (or on YOU) before you even realized he was there, well those other skills may not do much for you!
Yes, awareness is the first skill you should focus on. But there’s something else you really must do before even moving into a place of being more aware. This is where the “introspection” part of the title comes in.
“Well, Cran, what does introspection have to do with awareness or with being safe?”
Your question shows that the light of wisdom lives within you! So, I will answer.
No matter what resources you have available to you, whether it is great books, incredible schools, or even a super-awesome Self-Protection course, you must CHOOSE to use those resources. To even be able to make a choice, you need to have an understanding of your own personal needs.
“This sounds dumb, I mean I know what I need in my own life, right?”
Your question shows that the light of wisdom that lives within you needs to be used a little more, but I’ll answer anyway!
If you are like the majority of people, you probably don’t know as much about your own needs as you think you do. This is where I could dive into a 7-page essay about “needs vs wants.” But I won’t (not this time).
In thinking about personal safety and self-protection, I would say there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t really taken the intense look at your own life that “self-protection” requires. Sure, there’s probably things you could do around your house and your workplace to make yourself safer. But that comes later.
The introspection that needs to take place is about you. You should be asking yourself questions like these:
Do I generally feel safe? If I do, is it because of misplaced hope or due to preparedness?
When I’m alone and a male stranger approaches me, do I feel vulnerable?
Do I generally know what is going on around me, or do I live life with my eyes down, hoping to be left alone?
Do I have personal boundaries and do I enforce them?
Am I responsible for my safety or do I just hope someone will take care of me when the time comes?
Too many women have a surface level feeling of being “in control” of their life, of their safety, and their circumstances. But in times of distress or danger, the truth can bubble up to the surface with these telltale questions: What am I going to do? Am I about to be attacked? Is there someone who will come help me?
Introspection is important, because, no matter what wonderful resources you may have access to, if you mistakenly believe YOU aren’t in need of such things, well, then you probably won’t make use of those resources. You must first realize that you do have a need.
But don’t get it in your head that “needing” help is about being “weak.” Needing help is just about filling in a piece of the puzzle of your life that you might not be able to find. Whether it is a certification class that will help you get promoted, joining a support group for that soul-crushing addiction, or even a class that teaches you how to keep yourself and your family safer, getting help is a mark of personal strength and determination, NOT weakness.
Self-protection isn’t just about avoiding crime. It is about avoiding and overcoming any challenge that causes distress, pain, or hardship in your life. That is why finding the invisible or ignored problems of your life is so important. That is why honest, and sometimes difficult introspection is the first spoonful of medicine a good woman needs to head towards the wonderful life she truly deserves.
Take a little quiet time for yourself today and do some introspection into the REAL needs of your life. Find the blank spots in your puzzle and reach out for those people who can help. Ignoring what is wrong won’t help it get fixed. That is what you would tell your children or a friend you care about, right? Love yourself enough to give yourself the same advice, and then follow it.
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Until next time,