“Help I have fallen and can’t get up” – Life Alert Television Commercial Slogan
Several years ago I had what can only be described as a very public, humiliating and destructive fall. Sadly, I didn’t have a Life Alert button hanging around my neck to push for help and honestly there is nothing they could have done. For me it seemed the world, at least my world, had ended. Where I found myself was in a dark place with very steep walls, a place it seemed I couldn’t escape from….hopeless.
After that experience, after picking myself up and with the love and support of my family, church and a few people that surprised me, I put myself back together as best I could. I discovered that not all of the pieces of my previous life fit with what I referred to as my new normal life. Some of the pieces I didn’t need, some I just needed to learn to live without. I also realized that most everyone has had a fall or stumble of some sort. It is nearly impossible to go through life unscathed by hurt, anger, heartbreak, or even embarrassment. If you can, if the road you are traveling is as smooth as a babies butt paved with gumdrops, lollipops and rainbows then you really aren’t trying very hard. Living requires in a word, living, and to truly live necessitates we set ourselves up for both success and failure.
Success is easy to reconcile, any of us can do it standing on our heads. But failures, stumbles and falls, surviving those calamities take heart, fortitude and strength. Clawing your way out of a dark spot, to a place where the spotlight will glare upon you revealing all the nooks and crannies of your imperfect life, that my friends is the strength of truly living. It is a place of growth, a place where compassion and empathy bloom like daffodils in the Spring. But, sometimes, we must travel through the dark to arrive into the light.
I know there are some that think they know the way out of the darkness. I have lost more than a few friends that way. As they worked through the process what they failed to take into account were those of us they left behind. The hurt they thought they were solving in-fact created more hurt and anger for us to resolve. It may seem to be a way out of the dark, but really it’s not, what they have created is more darkness, a ripple effect that can last a lifetime by their very selfish conclusion.
I am here to tell you that there is life after a fall, that there is light after the dark. Is it an easy road to travel? Hell no and it sucks. But, and here is the big ass but, living in the dark, experiencing the pain and the isolation is just a moment, one–small–moment in all of the other moments available and in front of each of us.
“And so let us pray that if we are falling from grace, dear God let us also fall with grace, to grace. If we are falling toward pain and weakness, let us also fall toward sweetness and strength. If we are falling toward death, let us also fall toward life” – Philip Simmons “Learning to Fall”