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May I Borrow Your Bear




May I borrow your Bear?

When my siblings and I were younger, we would often refer to our Mother as Big ‘O.’ She seemed fearless, afraid of nothing. With nine children, she and my Dad were strong disciplinarians. Interestingly, however, if there was any chastisement to be done, Mama, being the more assertive and conservative of the two, would gladly enforce correction.  Thinking herself to be less of a Sergeant than was Daddy, she would say things like, “Do you want me to tell your Daddy about this?” In our minds, we would be begging her to tell Daddy, our liberal parent, but we had better sense than to disclose this to her.

Mama’s conflict resolution and management style was to deal with conflict head-on. If ever there was a problem, where she was being accused of wrongdoing, she would call together all the parties involved. On the spot, she would deal with her accusers, and before the close of the meeting, all lies would be dispelled. Amongst ourselves, we would tease about her strong temperament and her large-size hands. We thought, “Mama is not afraid of anything. She’s like a Bear; look at her hands!”

Unlike Mama, my usual personality was not one to straight forwardly deal with conflict. It seemed much easier to stay clear of certain individuals: those who were prone to initiate trouble, individuals with whom I could not reason, or those who did not see the world in the same way in which I did. I would rather not engage with them on any level.  And this was my typical, though flawed, way of managing my interpersonal relationships.

Recently, I was faced with an encounter. Eleven years prior, I had faced this same issue… with the same individual. While the initial thought was to follow my old tradition—to run away from the individual, I was put in a situation where I couldn’t take flight. I had to address it face to face. But how was I to do that? How could I operate outside of the normal space of my personality?  Mama came to mind. I considered how she could easily resolve this one. For her, this would be a cinch, a no-brainer.  However, Mama wasn’t there, at least, not physically there. But she was there; she was there in spirit.

I prayed that she would be with me as a mentoring spirit to guide me through the resolution process. Reminded of her courageous demeanor, I looked at the matter and faced it. What had held me fast for the past 11 years, I was finally able to break free. Figuratively speaking, I had borrowed Mama’s Bear.

Perhaps, there is a matter to which you have been held hostage, a matter you need to face. Dealing with the issue may require you to enlarge yourself by calling upon the mentoring spirit to show you how you can be victorious in a contesting moment. The mentoring spirit comes to bring wisdom and strength to those in need, and to give us the courage to conquer all fears. So, you don’t have to run in hiding. You can, in fact, boldly face the giant, in whatever form the giant comes. And be assured that Mama will allow you to borrow her Bear, her fearless stance to resolve conflict and her valiant disposition to overcome the challenges of life.

Oh wow! Time has slipped by so quickly; we’ll have to talk again sometime later. It’s always a pleasure spending time with you, my friend. And… that’s right! “I’m counting on you to stay In My Korner.”


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