If there’s one thing experience has taught me, it’s that life is gonna knock you down. And sometimes it will kick you while you’re there.
It doesn’t care about your race, gender, educational level, or the amount of money in your bank account.
It doesn’t care if you come from a dysfunctional home or a “healthy” home. It doesn’t care if you have a support network or you’re all alone. It doesn’t care if you have protective factors or already present stressors. It doesn’t care if you have time for it or whether you’re prepared for it.
If you haven’t been knocked down yet, be aware, it will come.
I have been called upon many times throughout the last few years. A common theme in the questions I hear is ‘what did you do when life knocked you down?’ or ‘how did you get back up?’
The short answer… I figured it out.
The long answer…depends on what the knock felt like.
Part of my resolve is my personality. I am a fighter, but one word cannot describe me. I am also a seeker. I have sought answers, mentors, wisdom, a hand to hold, a comforting or encouraging word – but if I find none, or it’s not enough, I look within.
I’m a reflector. A muller. A dissector.
I know myself well, though I’m continuously learning more. I don’t think that’s a process that ever stops – nor should it.
I know that I’ve been knocked down hard throughout life. And yes, there were times that I contributed to that fall. I’m not too proud to own that.
I don’t like being knocked down, though does anyone? I doubt it.
I do enjoy the journey though… not necessarily the falls, but the walk and especially the rise. That initial feeling you get when you look back over your shoulder and think, “Holy crap. I did it!”.
And I want to keep walking because if there is one thing I know for sure…this life truly is a gift and despite the challenges and falls, I’m gonna keep walking. There are some beautiful moments along the way.
I’ve never lost that.
Throughout all the times I’ve fallen, I have gotten up.
I didn’t always jump up. Trust me. There were times I resembled a newborn calf trying to get to their feet – all wobbly and shaky. Again…depends on how hard the knock was and what it felt like.
And I’ve used many different tools in assistance – I haven’t always been able to get up with the help of my own knees straightening.
There were outstretched hands along the way. There were encouraging words (in print and spoken). There were hugs. There were listening ears. There were even challenging words that motivated me (in print and spoken).
There were times that I felt all alone and had none of the above. There were times that those things were not enough… those times were not about what I had, but about what I needed to understand about myself. Those times I looked within. I learned to know me better.
Maybe being knocked down is about learning who you are…learning to know yourself better. It’s not always easy, I’ll give anyone that, but I’d argue it’s worth it. There is an opportunity in every knock and every fall throughout life. Perhaps recognizing and embracing that opportunity is also a part of it.
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