Military vs. Real World Metaphorical Pushups

The soul doesn't operate on hard work and discipline. Those are lies we are told as slaves. The military way of hard work and discipline are not life push ups. When we fall, we need something much stronger to pick ourselves back up.

The hardship I am most thankful for is insanity. Basic military training is designed to tear you down to nothing and then rebuild you into a soldier: strong, bullet-proof, unstoppable.

Every time you make a mistake, the military will make you drop, fall down, and then push yourself back up, over and over again. He didn’t say you can stop yet. Keep pushing.

Every time your attitude resembles a whiny child, the grown-up in the Smokey the Bear hat pulls up your big girl britches so high, they give you a wedge.

Anytime you show an emotional response, they scream in your face until the emotion leaves.

Most importantly, they spend the first half of training telling you that you are shit. You are nothing. You are garbage. And then the second half of the training is where you get to prove them wrong with small accomplishments, real skills, hard work and a lot of determination. They nurse you through it. They show you how to prove them wrong. They make you prove them wrong, or you go home.

It really is brainwashing at its finest. All soldiers develop a life-long love and admiration for their drill sergeants, most likely a result of Stockholm’s Syndrome. But basic military training is a completely controlled environment. It’s a safe place to be torn down to nothing. Real life, on the other hand, not so much.

While the military was training me to take on terrorists, it’s the training that actually best prepared me for motherhood (a different, legal, culturally-acceptable form of terrorism).

Don’t get me wrong. I love my children. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change making them. I would, however, hang out with myself for a few years for back-up. My kids would have two moms, but she is the same mom, so it’s one mom, but there are two of us. It would be the coolest, most epic, paradox of all time.

My problem was never my kids. They are hard work. They are supposed to be hard work.

I really tried to be June Cleaver. I gave it one helluva shot. I didn’t care that nobody was helping me at all and that I was surrounded by assholes who “love” me. I didn’t care that the reason my expectations of myself were so high was to cater to the pathetic emotions and feelings of adults around me. I didn’t care that 3 kids back to back was harder work than one kid. I did care about those things, but I got over it, and then I got over it again, and then again. It really was a cycle like a period.

Every day. I was going to do better. I can do it all by myself. I don’t need anyone. I just gotta work harder, smarter… push myself. Keep pushing.

I was trying to build myself back up the way the military showed me. I did the impossible under the false belief that pain is weakness exiting the body. The only thing stopping you is your mind.

It was so impossible, nobody believes me.

But the military lied.

You can push yourself beyond the boundaries of whatever Fantasia you have. Yes, Fantasia has boundaries all you jackholes who think otherwise. I went there. Beyond those mythical boundaries, and you know what’s there? Ghosts of the past haunting you. Demons shaming you. Insanity discrediting you. Death waiting on you.

Mixing that world while trying to do this mom gig made me insane. I lost my mind in ways I never feared.

I had to go insane to realize how insane my world is. I had to go insane to find real sanity. Without insanity, I would still be doing everything the wrong way. The way the world tells me to go. The way I didn’t want to go but justified anyway. The way that took me to insanity.

I slowly have been building myself up. Not military style. No. the soul doesn’t operate on hard-work and discipline. Those are lies we are told as slaves.

The soul operates on things Christ taught. Humbleness to seek healing. Patience to give time for wounds to heal. Love (a gift one should give and receive) to nurture the wound. Forgiveness to diminish the scar.

I had to deprive myself of these things in order to understand the importance of them. Now that I know how important these things are, I can give my children what God says they need instead of the things the world tells me they need.


  1. A wonderful post, as always. I'm glad to see that you're building yourself back up in ways that are meaningful to you. I think that you are a wonderful Mom to your kids, and a great wife to Rafa. Most of all, I am appreciative of your bringing us along for your ride as you evolve and make sense of this life. Shalom.
  2. I love reading your posts. I always feel like I get one more glimpse into your brilliant mind and history. That you've found ways to build yourself back up and a way to be the Right Mom to your kids is incredible and inspiring and perfect. Thank you again for making me think. You're amazing.
  3. Sounds like you have a fascinating history - and I just laughed out loud at the description of children and their particular form of "terrorism." I think we all have ideas of what the "right" or "perfect" mom is, but the real truth is that the only answer is whatever kind of mom is right for the kids and the parent involved. That's all that matters. Glad to read your post!
  4. For me the nugget was "Patience to give time for wounds to heal." Military background or not we don't allow enough time for this. I think it's so important for wounds to heal as that allows us to move on. Thank you for yet another reminder.

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