I learned an interesting piece of information this week (that I will most likely never use in real life) – what to do if you are approached by a brown bear or a black bear out in the wild.
Brown bear – lay down and play dead. Essentially flop on the ground, put your arms behind your neck and don’t move until the bear wanders off.
Black bear – make yourself big and loud. Spread your arms. Make noise. Flap a jacket if you are wearing one. Do not run.
Again, I’ll probably never use this in real life, but interesting nonetheless. And it got me thinking about life. And bears. And what if life was like a bear…
Well, lately there are days when life feels a lot like a brown bear. The brown bear comes walking down the path all big and hairy and probably smelly and I’m very small and standing there and… Down I flop. OK life, you win. I’m going to lay down here on this dirt road and not move for a bit. You just pass on by… I’ll get up once you have moved on. Thank you. Just gonna take a “play dead in the road” rest here. And then the brown bear moves on (I hope) and life gets back to “normal.” Life = brown bear = overwhelm and danger = play dead in the road.
And then there are days when life feels like a black bear. The black bear comes onto the path and I am feeling good and ready to take this on. I start yelling and wave my arms and make myself big and own my little patch of dirt. I do not run at the black bear but I do stand my ground. Hey life, I’ve got this. Back off. I own this right now. Yeah. Roar. And then the black bear moves on and I get back to my life. Life = black bear = I got this = own the space.
So if I were my own best friend I would take stock of how many brown bear and black bear days I am having. Without digging too deep I have the sense that too many brown bear days is not a good thing. I might need a little extra help getting along if there are too many brown bear days. And black bear days, while possibly better (because I am not playing dead), are also challenging and tiring in a different way. Defending one’s ground and overcoming challenges can take its toll day after day. So perhaps, if I were my own best friend I would take stock of how many bear days there have been but also go seek a path that is bear-free for a bit too. Simply be me, without the bears.