“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.
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.