Thursday, February 11, 2010

You May Stumble but You Will Not Fall

Do you reach your emotional depths easily? I knew a guy once who did that. He’d often burn the candle at both ends, and seemingly approach his limits very quickly, then spend several hours in conniption-land. But he was very quick to recover. I wondered about his method and so I asked...

And, before I delve, this is the key, is it not?—to recover quickly (enough). It’s not the stumble, out-of-control, that really matters—it’s not falling that counts. The guy I knew became quite skilled at removing himself at that instant of stress; the irreconcilable moment. He hardly raised a suspicion. That was his ploy and it worked for him.

Stumbling, again, is a practice many of us make quite perfectly in our dire imperfection! Yes, we almost ‘come a cropper’ (Aussie slang) with monotonous regularity in our fleeting fatigued, lonely and depressed states. But the key is recovery in giving ourselves a break.

We must certainly not cruel ourselves for falling; we’ve merely stumbled, that’s all. That’s the difference. When we’ve merely stumbled we can see how much of a fall we avoided—how bad it could’ve been—and we’re quietly thankful.

We are gentle with ourselves, showering ourselves with compassion. If we don’t, nobody else might.

You may not know this but the principle that ‘we may stumble but we will not fall’ is actually a biblical principle of those who seek to do the right thing—by themselves and others. And yet, we cannot do the right thing for others oftentimes without first doing the right things for ourselves regarding self-care.

This is a very important topic. Rebounding and bouncing back from troubles and flailing moments is the science of resilience. And bouncing back is okay provided we don’t make a continual practice of pushing things too far.

It brings us back to self-care, for no one can be strong for others unless they’re first strong for themselves. The building is not built fantastically and resiliently without first some strong foundations. Those foundations are needed every day, and especially on the windy days! Upon those foundations everyone will depend, most of all us.

Now the most fundamental key is this. At any time we notice ourselves stumble emotionally we are instantly able to resurrect ourselves and decide purely for time to retreat and find ourselves again.

Time is the essence, and that activity of the mind that we find soothing, restoring our transformational vitality, whether it’s a walk, drawing, painting, sleeping, watching a movie or bathing the dog; it must now be found.

We have noted the approaching limit. We’re honoured in that way. The end of train track is nigh and we take the time out to recover before plunging into the abyss. Do this and we recover quickly.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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