I was recently advising a friend who has a big, beautiful and generous heart to channel her inner lion. Ultimately, I was urging her to take up more space in the jungles most of us find ourselves in: city dwelling, inter-personal relationships, ego-investments, love, I could go on…I wanted her to fend for what she deems worthy, and to feel at home enough in the world and in her body to take up much more than elbowroom for herself.
At some point in the busyness of my week, I realized (as is often the case) that I too ought to heed some of my own advice. I too need to take up more space (at least in some cases), and be sure-footed in doing so. By this, I mean not to recklessly barge over others, but, rather, and aptly, like a cat, to get my back up, hiss and even roar if someone engages me aggressively, insensitively, carelessly. To stand my ground is not to bite, but, instead, to burrow my two paws into the ground I am standing on—after all it is that which is holding me up.
Curious about the recurrence of lions (both in the conversations with my friend and in PT’s last post), I looked up their role in mythology. In ancient Greek mythology (at least according to the Wikipedia version) lions were unable to be killed with blades, or other sharp mortal weapons because their fur was impenetrable. Their skin couldn’t be pierced.
There are those who take up too much space, and those who don’t take up nearly enough. Perhaps it is the graceful knowing of a lion that we should all learn from: to expose our big, beautiful and generous hearts without getting killed, and without having to attack.