I use to fall … down FACE-FIRST
And I stayed there–feeling sorry for myself, contemplating quitting, wondering if I was fooling myself to think I have what it takes, coming up with every excuse to stay there – face-down -, convincing myself I was in over my head and had no business attempting this doomed-from-the-start feat, and feeling immeasurable shame from the realization that everyone else knew I had failed.
I use to fall … into COMPLACENCY
To not care was easier. It took away the pressure of performance. Mediocre — that path smack-dab in the middle of the road was good enough for me. Haters couldn’t hate and I remained safe sitting there as close to the bottom as to the top.
I use to fall … for the LIES
Those little white ones and the humongous, dirty, oily, black ones. The ones I told myself and the ones that slipped out of smooth lips that others told me. I believed the little, “it’s not worth the risk” lies I told myself or the “you’re just not enough and you’ll never be” or the equally painful “you’re way too much to handle” lies. I trusted the lies from others — the “you can trust me” untruths and the “You can count on me” utterances made just prior to the fallout.
I use to fall … under the weight of “SOCIETAL NORMS”
To look like, act like, be like everyone else around me. Too afraid to stand on my own two feet — to stand apart from the crowd — for fear of ridicule or not fitting in or not being accepted. For fear that my own, unique self was unable to stand alone — was too weak, or too fragile, too broken or too naive, inexperienced. For fear that I just wasn’t enough on my own and needed the reinforcement of the crowd.
I use to fall … out of LOVE
To be more precise – out of passion. Passion for the long-haul mentality — that mentality that brings out the greatness in someone or something. I would flit about moving from one thing to the next, not allowing myself to stay too committed for too long because inevitably, instead of becoming GREAT I may actually fall flat on my face into failure. To avoid the failure, I gave up the over-the-top passion. I traded love for indifference.
I use to fall … into DEPRESSION
Yes. It’s a struggle and it used to be a DAILY struggle. I allowed myself to wallow at times because I felt depression was just part of my DNA. I couldn’t help it – so I thought. This melancholy spirit can work for good – it’s what gives me the ability to write, to feel, to express, to empathize. But when I would FALL – I’d fall HARD and would drown in the heaviness of the dark waves. I began to feel I was a slave to the depression and instead of using it for good, I allowed it to be used for destruction.
I use to fall … onto my own SWORD
Self-sabotage. It’s an art. It’s intentional. And the primary culprit? Fear. Fear lines the sword of intention with a potent, lethal poison and with one small knick of the sword, self sabotage has begun. Falling down on my sword of great intentions has given me less opportunity for the follow-through that would’ve required I give my ALL. The poison of fear kept me from knowing exactly what I could handle — to what degree my “All In” mentality would come through shining, even though put to the test. Self-sabotage saved me from what I feared the most — the fear of failure yet it robbed me of accomplishment.
I use to fall … for COUNTERFEITS
So many different kinds of counterfeits out there — counterfeit friends, counterfeit business ventures, counterfeit co-workers, employers, counterfeit relationships, counterfeit motivations in others, in myself, counterfeit ploys for help or compassion/empathy. Oh, they looked real. Felt real. Seemed real. And my trusting heart fell for them all — hook, line and sinker.
I use to fall … within the bounds of SAFETY
Step too far right or too far left and I was out of the safety net. I allowed myself to be known only to a certain degree. I kept my vulnerability within bounds and then built a tall wall around that vulnerability that no one could enter. Sure, perhaps I kept my heart safe, somewhat. But because I didn’t allow it to fully experience the gamut of emotions and connections outside the limits of safety wall, my heart became dangerously lonely, even more scared and stunted in its personal growth and capacity.
I use to fall … into BUSY-NESS
I replaced true connection to others with keeping myself busy. Keeping my heart busy. There’s that vulnerability thing again. I didn’t want to be fully seen. My busy-ness also kept my mind engaged on the tasks at hand and didn’t allow it time to wander into the areas of my life that needed work.
I use to fall … under the weight of EXCUSES
What I thought were valid reasons to: a) not work through difficulty b) to quit on myself or others c) to not accept a challenge d) to not seek help e) to not get back up f) to not show up for myself g) to wave the white flag
I use to fall …
NOW … I GET BACK UP!
Each time I put my feet underneath me, use the force of my legs, arms, hands, heart, mind, will — every time I STAND UP I am PERFECTING THE PROCESS OF —
*Learning that falling down isn’t shameful. It’s the staying there that is.
*Understanding now that I am designed (ahh and so are you) to move beyond average and burst into greatness — striving always for climbing closer to the ceiling than settling in on the floor.
*Recognizing a bold-faced lie when I encounter one — even one I try to whisper in my own ear. Speaking truth into the lie and forcing it to flee rather than becoming entangled in its deceptive web and allowing it to force me to the ground.
*Believing that the only thing constant is change and that what is a societal norm today will be taboo tomorrow. And valuing my own worth, knowing it can very well stand on its own and shine brighter that way.
*Knowing for certain that feelings are fickle and to not let a fleeting frenzy of “what if I Fail” feelings be the dictator of my passion for longevity and full-hearted commitment to the people and things I love.
*Refusing to allow bouts of depression define me, cripple me, take me down for the count. Combating its full blown attacks with every positive dart I have in my arsenal and by no means allowing a TKO from its fists.
*Giving myself more opportunities to wield my sword rather than fall on it. Dismantling the fear of failure realizing I can use that fear as a flaming hot torch to spur me on. And if I fail? Keep trying over and over again until I come to the other side of accomplishment.
*Determining to not let the counterfeits out there bring disenchantment and cynicism to my trusting heart but instead use the wisdom of my years to see through the counterfeits, avoid them when necessary or shine light on their duplicity.
*Having the courage to break down the walls I’ve built, brick by brick. Granting myself grace in the demolition process as the building has been a lifelong endeavor — out of necessity as a young child. Seeing now that the wall has become more a prison that keeps me locked up rather than a protection.
*Defining my busy-ness as an escape mechanism — one of many — and deciding to willingly show up for myself and for others.
*Continuing to tell myself that excuses are usually never viable reasons for quitting. They are manipulators of truth that hold very little true substance. They manifest themselves as being greater than they really are and cover the real reason why quitting seems to be an option.
—– The driving force behind the falling is primarily ONE SINGLE THING —–
Fear is the bully … the one that pushes you down, pushes you over the edge, holds your face down in the muck and mire and laughs at you all the while. The only way to fight FEAR is to …
GET BACK UP!
And when you do you prove that …
Dear friends — I want you to feel the freedom, the empowerment, the pounding in your heart VICTORY over fear. It’s nothing short of amazing. Sure, it takes years to accomplish and I’m not even positive it is ever FULLY ATTAINED because there is always room for growth and development within this life of trips and falls.
And each trip and fall is a particular hurdle set before you and me — one that we have to maneuver for our own personal growth. Each time we GET BACK UP we bolster our inner strength and find ourselves more and more capable of withstanding the blows of future fears and future trips and falls.
We will spend less and less time in a crumpled heap on the floor and more and more time STANDING TALL, dukes up, ready to fight and with the belief that YES — WE CAN WIN!
And by standing up, time and time again, we will have earned the right –ahh, the privilege– to carry the VICTORY BANNER that flies in the face of fear and announces for all to see …
I USE TO FALL …. NOW I GET BACK UP!