Friday, October 27, 2006


Where in your life have you fallen down? Whether you fell physically, emotionally, or spiritually, chances are that it was a memorable--and changing--experience. I've been thinking about falling lately. The act and the recovery.

When you fall, it is generally a surprise, something you didn't see coming. Perhaps you tripped over your own feet. Or stumbled over something someone else put in your path. Or maybe you had a door, an opportunity, slammed in your face. It might have been due to inattention on your part (or misunderstanding, or blindness, or pride), or it might have been the ignorance, insensitivity, or limitations of another. Or it might have been an angel experience with a message: "Here's a new place where you can grow."

A fall is always humbling. Our face is in the dirt. We are forced to admit our imperfection, our fallibility. We begin to get up, looking around. Who saw me fall? No one? Whew--okay, now I can go on with life as normal.

But something inside is different. Others may not know we fell, but we know. We know we are capable of falling, whether we believe others caused it or not. Ultimately we were the ones who took the dive. And we are the ones responsible for getting up (or not, if that's what we choose to do).

As I've gotten older, I've become much more comfortable with my own falling. I don't hide it anymore. I tell people about it, because for some strange reason I really enjoy the knowledge that I'm human just like everybody else. I've also discovered that each fall is a sacred point of learning--I discover important things in those moments in the mud. Finding those lessons is a work of grace. And I still fall, pretty much daily. I fall from my place of peace and stability. I fall off my own pedestal (thank God). I fall into inactivity when I say productivity is my goal. I fall into my own realization of powerlessness and then reach out to my Source for a hand up. Each getting up is an act of trust, a stepping out, a choice for hope.

And it makes each event in my life--whether I'm falling down, getting up, or riding high--a meaningful encounter with the truth of what I'm learning just now.


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