Finding the balance in fight or flight

Finding the balance in fight or flight

It’s been a law of nature since the beginning of times. In the face of danger, creatures have two distinctive instincts: fight or flight.

Lions are the kings of the plains; they are bold, active and rough animals. Their paws stomp on the hot ground, in the face of a conflict, they are the beasts that charge. The cool-toned zebras, on the other hand, stray from their feline enemy. Zebras share their lineage with horses, in fact, they share the same family, Equidae. Like horses, zebras have hooves that trot on the dry land, and their eyes are mounted outwards instead of forwards. Their ears can swoop in many directions.

Zebras, animals of prey, use all their senses to detect and scan for danger. They have evolved to be animals with features, like their outward eyes and flexible ears, to always be on watch. When lions and zebras are amongst each other, the lion fights and the zebra takes flight.

I was born a lion, but life has taught me that it is okay to let your black and white stripes show.

I was born with a fire in my belly, a strong opinion, and an extremely loud voice. I shouldn’t be using past tense here; I still withhold a sharp tongue and a bright mind in many situations. It is within my true nature. Authentically, I roar.

But I only roar at things I am passionate about. Why would a lioness waste her breathe breathing fire at the most benign things?

I fight for what is right, true, and just. I fight for what I’m passionate about: people, the arts, and compassion. What don’t I care about? Homework, due dates, or clean rooms. I avoid. I flee. I hightail it to the exit door when those things are brought up. But fleeing isn’t always such a bad thing. For instance, you should flee (or walk away) from unkind words and topics of toxic relationships.

To flee isn’t to be timid. In fact, to flee is quite an intelligent thing to do in many situations. To flee is to listen and to walk away. I have been scolded when I choose the later in “fight or flight,” but sometimes, it is something to be proud of. It is possible to find the balance between the zebra and the lion.