A Simple Path – To Getting Back Up | The BridgeMaker

A Simple Path – To Getting Back Up

By on Jun 03, 2012

“If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.” ~ Chinese Proverb

Sometimes we don’t see the blow coming. We fall to our knees as we wait for the shock and pain to retreat. These surprise attacks steal our happiness, shake our confidence and leave our world a little darker.

Attacks like receiving word that someone we love has died; getting news of a grave diagnosis; missing out on a career opportunity or learning your partner wants to end the relationship can leave us spinning, grasping…praying for relief.

During these moments of desperation it can feel like we are down for the count; it can feel like we will never get back up to live again.

Since my brother’s death last October, I have been down on the mat. While there have been good days, there’s always a cloud hovering that’s making my world a little darker. This unexpected blow has affected my spirit and it has weakened my resolve to remain positive no matter the situation. I’ve been negative, irritable and angry – and that just isn’t like me.

Put bluntly, Eric’s death has kicked my ass.

Finding relief

On the way to dinner the other night, Mary Beth expressed her concerns. She was tender, sensitive, and more important, she was honest. She acknowledged the changes she saw in me and they frightened her. I changed eight years ago to save my marriage, but now my wife was beginning to see glimpses of the man I use to be.

Her words were my rock bottom. It was time to get back up and start living again.

Sometimes the simple path to getting back up begins with understanding there’s not a switch to flip when we are ready to get back up, but there is a path we can walk that will take us away from the dark places and to the places where the light is waiting to welcome us again.

My journey isn’t over yet, but I can see relief – life-giving relief is only a few paces away. Other than the eight months I was separated from Mary Beth, the past eight months has been the most painful time in my life.

But in life’s amazingly ironic way, these last eight months have also been my greatest teacher. I’m learning it’s okay to…
feel the pain.
grieve the loss.
believe that tragedy doesn’t always have to make sense.
think that life just sucks sometimes.
leave regret behind.
trust there is an equal portion of healing waiting.
want to be happy again.
ask for help to get back up.

So, what about you? Are you ready to get back up? Will you walk the rest of the way with me? I could use the help.

This is not our time to go home. This is our time to savor the moments before us. This is our time to squeeze every ounce of joy, love and tenderness we can from these moments. This is our time to get back up and celebrate the beautiful life that is waiting for us.

What is A Simple Path?

This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • markjsunz

    Hi Alex,

    I worked with your brother at SNS, I left the company in 2009. and it was just recently I heard of his passing. He has been on my mind for the last few days.

    I woke up and decided to see if there was an obituary so I could find more information.

    I found your beautiful emails. I also lost a Brother when I was 14 years old. There is a bond between brothers that is hard to break,

    I returned to SNS after being out for a year with a serious illness. My illness caused me to have a drop foot which I wore a brace for. During that period Eric had been hired as a sales trainer
    Here I was at SNS new warehouse with there business offices located in the same building. That is when I first met Eric. Before me was this tall good looking gentleman who looked like he belonged on a movie set.
    When I saw him walking I noticed he had a limp just like I did. He would come in the store to observe sometimes and I always would see him at meetings. He never made an issue about his leg and he never used it as an excuse. It took me seven months just to learn to walk again.
    I was a big fan of your brother. SNS used to have Management seminars in palm springs. We would meet all day in a training room in the Hotel then we would walk about a mile to the restaurant where we would have dinner.
    As I was waiting in the lobby for the rest of the group to show up Eric tapped me on the shoulder. He said I am driving to the restaurant, he mentioned the name of another employee that just had knee surgery that he was going to give a ride to and he said I was welcome to come along. Here I was with my left foot in a brace, I also have chronic nerve damage in my legs, but I was going to make that walk and gut it out so my co-workers would not be aware of my Issues.
    Eric knew my issues because he him experienced his own. He was very kind. There is a saying in the Bible ” A good tree can only bare good fruit, and a bad tree can only bare bad fruit”
    Eric was that good tree. I finally had to retire due to my physical problems and I lost touch with everything that had to do with SNS.
    After reading your beautiful from the heart emails I know Eric had that beautiful bond of Brotherly love.

    • Mark,

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Eric with me. He was a good tree indeed – strong, flexibility and always made sure he was offering shade to everyone else. Keep Eric in your heart, always.

  • Raquelleegalford

    I am so sorry for your loss.  I can relate to struggling.  I am having trouble getting back up myself. I love the quote at the top of the article.  I am going to put it where I can see it every day

  • Living in your truth and being transparent is an amazing way to live Alex and you are well on your way.  It’s funny that 8 years and 8 months have been your place of pain – you see the number 8 represents infinity…..so infinite wisdom has been learned and infinite love has been experienced.

    You are on the right path my friend and I often say you have to feel the pain to go through the pain.  We must taste the salt of our tears to realize the sweetness of life.

    By changing our feelings we can change our destiny is what Dr. Wayne Dyer states.

    In love and light,

    • Nancy – thanks so much for sharing your perspective about the number 8. This awareness is very comforting!

  • nikky44

     “Are you ready to get back up?” I’m ready. Most of days I don’t believe it is even possible to get up after i fall, then it happens again and again. They call it strength? I chose to accept that definition although I don’t really see that strength