As her hair flows in the wind and her horse begins to gallop swiftly, she is on her way to a nearby village that desperately needs her help. Suddenly she sees ahead of her a band of men spread across her path.
Her innocent heart worries that there is something wrong, and she wonders whether they need her help. As she slows down, one burly man screams out, "What are you doing here? Where are you going?" The young, courageous warrior proudly replies, "I am on my way to the next village, where they need my help. My purpose here is to serve."
With a smile still on her face, not understanding why these men are blocking he path she asks them, "Do you need any help?"
And with that, she hears their loud retort. "No! No! Go back!" they scream at her. "You are a young girl, This is not a job for you. This is a man's world and a man's job!" As blood drains from her face, she feels the urge to fight back. She is boiling with anger, yet aware that these big men could hurt her.
After more taunting, she pulls back the reins and turns to go home. Slowly riding away, she wonders why it is a man's job. She wonders why she cannot express herself and serve others. She never before heard the words, "This is a man's world!" She wonders, "Is this the truth?"
As she allows herself to begin to doubt and question her motives, she hears a voice inside her that she can barely recognize.
It is nothing like the Voice of Courage that wakes her up each morning saying, "You are extraordinary gift to the world. There is nothing you cannot do. There is no one in the world like you! We need you!"
Instead, she now hears an unfamiliar voice warning her, "It is not safe out here. You had better be careful. Who do you think you are? you are nothing special."
The world does not understand these feelings that are going on inside of her. She closes her eyes to catch a breath, but when she wakes up from her moment of reflection, although she doe not realize it, she is not the same. She has fallen into a trance.
Instead of remaining mounted on her noble steed, continuing her mission to aid, uplift, and unshackle the hearts of people everywhere, she does as she is told.
Instead of offering the world her fullest potential, she believes the story of herself as a helpless, powerless, maiden who has to wait endlessly for her prince to arrive, kiss her, take her away to a better place, and save her from a life of drudgery and meaninglessness.
In an instant, she changes from a young warrior conquering fear and injustice to a scared child whom nobody can see, who does not matter, and whose voice isn't heard. Thus come about the death of the courageous warrior child.
Maybe you can remember the death of the courageous warrior child in you.
The reality you see now may just be part of a fairy tale that you made up about yourself and then believed.
The story we tell ourselves about ourselves and our lives either empowers or dis-empowers us, it either open us to new possibilities or shuts us down. Many of us create fairy tales about our lives that become the stories that limit our access to a better life.
We must revisit the past and bring awareness and closure to it so that we can be released from the stranglehold of insecurity, fear, and regret.
Debbie Ford - Courage