Ooof! The sound I make when the breath is knocked out of me. Ask me how I know. OK, this is going to be humbling…as many of my escapades are. Just the other day, while visiting a home that was unfamiliar to me, my eyes and brain missed the important info that there’s a definite step up into the garage. Very important information! I headed in at full speed carrying something and just fell down flat…ooof!…knees, hands, face…in that order. It was spectacular! A face plant…my first since I was about two years old. Bystanders to my wipeout…family. Oh the humanity! Where do you start when picking up yourself from such a fabulous display of crashing and burning?
Now that I have some time to reflect on the moment, I have determined some very clear steps that I moved through shortly after I hit the concrete…the unforgiving concrete.
Shock. Pain. Fear. Getting back up. Evaluating the damage. Embarrassment. Beginning the repairs. Healing.
Now let’s sub an i for an l and talk about a ‘fail’ and just how, much like a ‘fall’, there are steps you have to take to get going forward again.
With both a fall and a fail, there’s that moment of shock…a ‘what happened, I didn’t see that coming, how did I get here?’ kind of feeling.
Then the shock dims just enough that the pain becomes the top reality. This hurts. I may have really damaged myself, and sometimes those who are aware of my fall/fail.
Next up, fear. Can I come back from this? Is it permanent?
Staying in the fallen, failed position is no good, so next comes getting back up. This is where bystanders, a.k.a. friends, family, people who care, haul me to my feet, rather than allowing me to remain face down in all my glory.
Whether it’s a fall or a fail, it’s time to evaluate the damage. Anything broken? Anyone broken? Any relationship broken? Is this a repair we can handle in house, or are we going to need outside assistance? A doctor, a counselor, a trusted friend?
When reality hits, it’s hard not to feel the ‘oh so human’ emotion…embarrassment. Really? I did that? You saw that? But I won’t spend much time here because I tend to do embarrassing stuff all the time. Ask my family.
Now let’s begin the repairs. Clean up. Ice it. Bandage up. Or in the fail scenario, apologize, rectify, clarify, and there’s a tendency to justify, but that’s probably the least helpful action I can take.
And now, for the longest of all the steps…healing. This is the place where patience is the helpful tool in both a fall and a fail. I can’t rush it. Just have to keep treating, caring for, waiting on things to get back to the place where I started…with a better eye towards the spot that tripped me up in the first place and how to avoid it.
Moving through the steps doesn’t get you clear of the fall/fail right away. There are always consequences to actions; physical, emotional, and spiritual. The pain hangs around longer than I would want. Embarrassment crops its head at inopportune times. The healing continues.
So what’s the upside to falling or failing? I’d hate to think it’s just for the pain of it all. But here’s some really great news from 2 Corinthians 1:4… “He (God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” Let’s get busy helping each other up!
P.S. I’m really ok! Thanks for checking.