When I think of all the things that I have experienced in my 36 years, my memories run the gamut: love and loss, hope and despair, poor and less poor than yesterday, happy and sad, bitter and sweet-you name it, I’ve touched it at some point in my life.
These days it is a lot easier to get back up when one has been knocked down. We listen to music, we go to therapy, we happily exit stage left and let the curtains close. We embrace our challenges with new mindsets. We forgive and even forget. Not only are we learning to work through our knockdowns, but access to pick-me-ups are but a click, tap, and scroll away! It is amazing to see how far we’ve come and how quickly we work to resolve our issues. As proud as I am of how much I’ve grown in problem-solving and developing resiliency, sometimes I just wanna lay there.
Just as true as the saying, “trouble don’t last always” goes, there are days that I am just not my happy self. As a matter of fact, I am incredibly withdrawn and quick to anger. Sometimes I am apathetic to the needs of others-spouse, kids, students, the dog-I practice no respect of the person and could care less about it. This is me lying in the middle of my proverbial boxing ring because I have been rocked by some blow. Sometimes my knockdowns are knockouts and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing Mike Tyson knock someone out, then you can understand that some blows leave you lying down and you aren’t getting up anytime soon. I can tell you that, right now, at this very moment, I am lying on the tarp. My face is swollen and wet with sweat and snot. My eyes are blackening and red from too many tears. My mouth is bloody with a few loose teeth. My hair is all over my head, my ears won’t stop ringing and I am just laying there. I don’t wanna get up. I don’t want anybody to help me. I don’t want to be reminded of all that is good. I just want to lay in my experience and let the pain pull me from my peaceful shore. It’s not quitting, nor accepting defeat. It’s being human.
Sometimes getting knocked down or knocked out can blindside us and best us in every way possible. It is not a sign of weakness to feel its full impact. Sometimes just laying, face down in our despair, crisis, chaos, catastrophe-reminds us that we are indeed still human and we have breaking points. If we never let the full experience of adversity do its job of teaching us, we never build the capacity to become strong enough to go another round. Life is not supposed to be wonderful and fulfilling all the time. It is delusional to believe that. Life’s experiences are like crossing through a mountain range; you start in the valley and work your way to the mountain’s base. Then you start to climb. You are using all that you know including faith and what your mama taught you, your education, your skillset, your money and then one loose rock and down the mountain, you go tumbling! Even still, you tend to your wounds and start to climb again. You avoid loose rocks this time and find that your ascent has almost reached the summit, only to be exposed to its bitter cold and lack of oxygen. Back down you go, but it is ok.
Just lay there. Cry, kick, scream or just be silent. Whatever is necessary for you to move through the experience, do that. For it is in our face being planted, our ugliness, our hurt, and our pain that we finally learn the lesson that’s going to teach us what we’re truly made of.