I remember as if it was yesterday. The first time I was called a lioness. And it wasn’t because of my hairstyle 🙂 (kidding aside— in the 80’s I had hairstyle that resembled a Mane, I do not kid you! One day I may have the courage to post that!)
My daughter, who is now 27 years old, was in fifth grade. I drove up to pick her up from school at the carpool line. And the minute she entered the car and I started driving, she began crying. I immediately pulled over, stopped the car, and turned my attention completely on her. “What happened,” I shot the question out of me as if I drank poison. “Why are you crying?” Through her sobbing, I understood that a girl was bullying her in the class, and actually pulled her leg from underneath the table so my daughter will trip over as she was walking. The teacher did not see it and the girl was not accountable even though she humiliated my daughter.
I remember that the first thought crossing my mind was to rush home and call this girl’s parent informing her what her daughter did and demand to know what that parent is planning to do. Or even better, drive back to school, find that child and give her a piece of my mind! I was capable and 100% equipped to do either of these options. But I didn’t. (Trust me, I surprised myself!). Instead, that evening I remember giving my daughter a listening ear, strength and support. And most importantly the tools and understanding how to take care of herself. How not to let other people’s’ bad behavior and unkindness set the tone to how we will behave or what we will do.
I do remember going to the teacher the next day to explain what had happened. And that’s when I was titled— A lioness!
I’m proud of that title and I wear it as a badge of honor. It is interesting that a group of lions are referred to as pride. I ponder, what are these Lions pride themselves on? And what do lioness do? A lioness protects their cubs, that which is so important to them. It can be our children, our project, our community. Can you name something that is so important to you that you will try to move mountains for that entity, that project, that family, that goal to be achieved?
A Hebrew gem— a lioness in Hebrew is called leviah לביאה. Can you detect a hidden word there? If you said lev, you would be right on! A ❤️ heart! And the second word, or the leftover three letters put together can create the word which means proper יאה. So what truly is a lioness? Someone with a proper heart. Now, let’s take that a step further— when do we show that we have a proper heart? When do you feel that your heart is shining outwardly? When does it feel full and happy?
I want to propose when we do the right thing! When we align our goodness with our actions. When our intentions are coming from a good place and manifest outwardly — that’s when we have a proper heart. And to do that sometimes we need courage. Courage to stand up and say when things are not OK. Courage to lead the way when the path is not very clear. Therefore, it will not be surprising to you if I said that the word courage comes from Latin, and in French it means heart Coeur! And in Hebrew, courage actually means the adaption of the heart, “ometz lev” אומץ לב!
Do you see how these concepts of the heart actually are connected to the heart? Gosh, I love my work nowadays 🙂
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