This time baby, I’ll be bulletproof

by Lori Hoeck on July 31, 2010

EllyJacksonBulletProofThe smash technopop hit Bulletproof sung by Elly Jackson of the musical duo La Roux speaks to that desire we all have to find place where fear and doubt are banished behind a skilled resolve not to be hurt by unsafe people.

(Face it, with a hairdo akin to Woody Woodpecker, Jackson has to have some thick skin and a fairly bulletproof ego. OK, it’s just a persona for the stage, but still…)

Don’t we all want that level of confidence and that comfort within our own skin? You know, that often elusive point where we own our lives so completely no one–even our lesser selves–can push our buttons, manipulate our emotions, or intimidate us. It’s what this site is all about, learning to Think Like A Black Belt.

How does it happen?

Training

This can be intentional or not, but it must be either ongoing or more reality based than not.  As a martial artist and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), I trained for years. No syllabus or pop quizzes came with my time on the family farm, wilderness camping, and pushing the envelope of life experiences, but the lessons from them last a lifetime.

Whatever the training, it must push us beyond our comfort zone.

Trial by Fire

This is an experience so long, intense, or pivotal, our soul is bared in a supernova blast. Suddenly we peer deeply into who and what we are.  At this point we say, “This is not working! I’m changing things starting right now!” Those who hit bottom in their addiction and turn their lives around have a similar trial by fire of the inner kind.

True Moments

A good quote summing this one up is:

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

As the main care provider for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia, I’ve been pushed beyond normal levels of patience and creative ways to honor her. Opting out of a convenience mindset and doing the right thing often brings us to true grit moments that instill inner strength.

Notice all three of the above methods don’t fit the couch-potato personality. Nor can we find our way through them very far if we have too many issues, like addictions, weighing us down and keeping us in denial.

“Denial loves the darkness of half-truths and self-medicating narratives. Maturity requires the full light of courage, love, and perseverance.”

and

“Maturity consists of no longer being taken in by oneself.”  Proverb

So, to sum up — to Think Like a Black Belt is to think beyond the you of right now and value positive change enough to embrace the more bulletproof (mature) person you can become.

What do you think of the song or becoming bulletproof?

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Lori Hoeck

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If you liked this post, you’ll like:

To take a stand takes courage, ownership

Self defense and owning your survival

Independence Day Song for Targets of Narcissists

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Photo: stusev

{ 13 comments }

1 Hilary August 5, 2010 at 2:32 am

Hi Lori .. You’re so right .. these last three years and particularly these last 7 months have really pushed me to my limits .. I am on my way out (up) – one stepping stone passed .. but right from the beginning I just was positive there was no other way to be .. yes – I had my ups and downs and during that time practically hit the bottom in sheer exhaustedness and not understanding other people & their apparent lack of concern .. but obviously their own selves came first.

If we think of others .. we forget ourselves and become less selfish .. all the time I’ve concentrated on others around .. either the two elderly sick or people associated with where we were at .. in the hospitals or their lives .. my own went its own way in its own time.

I have to say dementia would probably drive me nutty! That’s the one thing I’ve been blessed with …. two elderlies neither of whom lost or are losing their marbles, other than normally as the end approaches.

My blog is my way forward in a positive manner .. with all sorts of possibilities ahead – but interest and encouragement continuing via comments until I have the energy and the time frame to move on – even while my mother lives ..

You too – have followed this path .. it’s a tough road – but oh so worthwhile .. great post & we never know how strong we are til it happens .. do we .. Hilary

2 Matt August 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I found this to be especially true when starting to write online. The internet can be a brutal place and you really have to be ready for it!

3 Lori Hoeck August 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Hi Hilary,
I certainly never thought this road with my mom would be so hard and heartbreaking, but it is also rewarding as I’ve had to rise to the occasion and build strength I never knew I had.

Hi Matt,
Thank you for commenting!
The internet, including forums or blog comments, can be nasty or nice. I pick my internet friends and connections carefully — and they are some of the best people in the world!

4 Davina August 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hi Lori

“…the training, it must push us beyond our comfort zone.” I agree. It sounds to me like we need to keep this process going because as soon as we think “we’re invincible” we get complacent in that comfort zone. Not saying we need to become paranoid :-) but your quote; “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have” gives me that impression. We need to keep reminding ourselves and practicing how strong we are.

5 Barbara Swafford August 9, 2010 at 12:49 am

Hi Lori,

The part of your post that really resonated with me was where you said, “You know, that often elusive point where we own our lives so completely no one–even our lesser selves–can push our buttons…”. Too often I find it’s not others who are making me feel intimidated, but those inner voices that can pop up from no where.

I like how you tied all the training we receive in life to become bulletproof. Like you said, it’s not just schooling or life, but the combination of all we experience and hopefully learn from.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to see a parent deteriorating in the manner you describe. My heart goes out to you, your family and your mom. Love, ((hugs)) and prayers coming your way.

6 Lori Hoeck August 9, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hi Davina,
The more I live, the more I see gentle strength — like the power of water — is the greater way to remain bulletproof. When the attacker finds no resistance coming from you as you stand within inner strength and the greater Truth, they fall on their face. It takes a while to get there.

Hi Barbara,
I find those inner voices come from someone in our past…or a family or cultural mindset. The bulletproof concept isn’t an overnight event, but it’s similar to the process by which a leader becomes “seasoned.”

Thank you for understanding my situation and for the prayers.

7 Leah Humphries August 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

You are inspired! I so appreciate your insight…It’s made a bid difference in my personal progress.
Bless You,

Leah

8 Wendi Kelly August 19, 2010 at 9:32 am

Hi Lori,
You asked what I thought of the song, and as I was listening to it, I was struck by how sad I felt for the singer, the message of the song, that we need to be wrapped in a shield of protection, closed off, to be bullet proof.
Then I read your comments and saw where you wrote this: “The more I live, the more I see gentle strength — like the power of water — is the greater way to remain bulletproof. When the attacker finds no resistance coming from you as you stand within inner strength and the greater Truth, they fall on their face. It takes a while to get there.”

This is how I feel about being truly bulletproof. It isn’t about making ourselves so strong and hard that our shield will protect us. It is about making ourselves so open and expansive and filled with light that anything that comes at us will just flow right through like water down a stream while we simply observe. The closer we get to knowing who we are and the better we are at keeping our feet on solid ground, the easier it gets.

9 Lori Hoeck August 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

Hi Leah,
Welcome to the site and thank you for commenting.
Best wishes to you in your progress!

Hi Wendi,
Oh, my friend, that shield of protection is sometimes the only thing a person has! I remember going through the burning anger and justification that helped me overcome a narci. Sometimes the desire to be bulletproof helps us move out of denial. (Plus, when facing evil or a bullet, I darn well want to be bulletproof.)

And yet, each battle has its unique faces, phases, and levels of action. Right now, I’d just like to have God fight my narci battles for me. I’d love to be free of the battle altogether; free to open the heart with such certainty, Truth, and Love that nothing can battle against those things. Yeah, I’m on my way, just not every day.

10 Wendi Kelly August 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Lori,

Oh, please don’t think I say this as someone who has reached the pinnacle of heavenly light! I have had decades and decades of battle worn and weary heavy armor I have trudged through many, many fights with, far to many to count. As you know, because we have chatted about some of them. But frankly, it gets so tiring and hard to be that angry. That’s when, I find the better option is to jut put the weapons down and walk into the light. I think to some, that feels like surrender. To me, it feels like the calvary just arrived. Sometimes however, I think we all tend to pick up the weapons again. It’s natural to forget. A constant process.

11 Lori Hoeck August 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Hi Wendi,
You are a lot closer than I! I have never reached the cavalry arriving state, which is a way cool metaphor. I have nothing but respect for your journey in this area. I was writing for more than you and I, letting others know that sometimes chest-beating or the inner lion’s roar — as in “next time baby, I’ll be bulletproof!” — might be part of the battle, too.

12 Wendi Kelly August 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Lori,

You are SO absolutely right that it is part of the process and journey! It is pivotal! I don’t really think that one can get from A to Z without walking and learning from that battlefield. Maybe there are a few that have reached some kind of zen enlightment without wearing their own bulletproof vests first for many a tough battle, but I sure as heck don’t know any of them!
For me and my friends, it’s been more like get kicked to the ground, do your time as a floor mat, realize there is more to life, tentatively try to pick yourself up,repeat steps one through three several times, finally get pissed off, fight back without armor , recover from bullet holes, repeat, and then…finally after a handful of THOSE bitter experiments, THEN, finally go get a bullet proof vest. The journey to to taking it off again and handing it to a higher power…much, much..much later.

13 Lori Hoeck August 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Hi Wendi,
Great summary!
Feel like writing more about that? I’ll send you an email soon …

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