Well, I fell down again today. It’s the third time in less than two years that I’ve hit the concrete. The first time I fell I broke one of my ankles. The second time I fell I sprang my other ankle. Today when I fell, I twisted the ankle that I previously sprang. I may sound clumsy, but the funny thing is that after both the first and second fall, I’ve been extra vigilant to avoid falling again. I do my best to look for every crack in the concrete, every twig or rock that may cause me to lose my balance, and extra care stepping off curbs. Even after feeling super alert and careful, I still managed to fall down. My traumatic memories of breaking my ankle and fear flooded my mind as I was falling. I don’t think it’s any wonder that I’d spent time today reflecting on my fall and questioning why I’d been in such disbelief that I had fallen again. After all of the reflecting, I eventually remembered that each significant life experience helps us to learn more about ourselves and to remind us of how resilient we are. After I hit the ground and the initial split-second shock of falling faded, my mind immediately told me to get back up and I did. I’m telling you this story in hopes of triggering memories of the times that you too have fallen down, physically, emotionally or both. We’ve all experienced painful situations in our lives where we questioned whether or not we were going to get back up, try again and keep going. Some of you may be feeling down as you're reading this. If you are, please remember that sometimes we fall down and it hurts like hell but we always have options and the power to choose how we respond after the fall. And hey, it’s okay to fall down. We all do at some point in our life. It’s not the fall that reflects us. It’s what we do after we’ve fallen that reveals who we are.
Photo by Vinicius Amano
Christina is a Psychotherapist in private practice in Oakland California.