Have you ever fallen on your face? Like literally?
Actually, I have fallen on my face many times (I’m not the most coordinated 😉)
However, just the other day I fell really hard, right on my face.
I was out trying to be a cool sporty mom (which I am not).
Pretending that I was 16 again…playing baseball with my family.
I didn’t stretch or warm up. First mistake.
I went right into the game feeling like my body was going to just pick up where it left off.
We started slowly, just tossing the ball in a circle, so that my son and I could get a feel for the ball and the mitt.
Then our circle widened and we started tossing a little farther and harder.
Now we brought the bat in and started hitting the ball out into the field to see who could get to it first.
Everything is all good, and I am pretty impressed with my catching, throwing and hitting abilities.
I am all smiles.
Now my husband is up to bat and he hits the ball perfectly. Up high and coming my way.
I got it! I got it!
Focused on the ball and not where I was going.
The ball and I are about to come together, as one, and it was going to be awesome!
Or maybe not.
As I run, my body begins to not feel connected.
My bottom half is not in line with my top half.
My top half is moving faster towards the ball then my legs.
My mind is now in slow motion and the inevitable is about to happen.
Yup, my top-heavy body landed me on the ground, a high speed collision, with my nose taking the majority of the hit.
When I fall, it isn’t graceful, or logical to the onlooker.
Nope, it is me meeting the ground like a sack of potatoes.
I just laid there.
Stunned, panting and embarrassed. And because of this, there is no rush to get up.
I liked laying in the falling.
I like my face touching the dirt.
My body needs time to process this change in elevation.
Moments ago, we were running, now we are laying.
My husband runs over trying not to laugh, because I know that if you were to play the fall back in slow motion, it must have looked very comical.
However, upon seeing the dirt on my face, my glasses askew, tears flowing down my cheeks, he tries to get me up.
I let him know that I need a moment.
A moment to recover and take inventory.
I have been here before.
Face down in the dirt.
Trying to figure out how the hell I got here.
Normally, I jump up and get right back to it.
I never take the time to think how I got there, or if I need help moving on. I just brush off the dirt and carry on.
But sometimes, we have to just slow it down.
We have to feel the fall, and lay in the dirt for a while.
My husband put his head down to mine and looked at me, probably wondering what the heck is going on here.
Slowly, I put my hand in his and he helped me up. He wiped the tears and dirt from my face and adjusted my glasses.
He gave me permission to sit out for a while and catch my breath.
I took it.
And it helped.
This is something I don’t do often enough.
Catch my breath.
Sit and be still.
Watch others and observe.
Being vulnerable and letting my husband and son see that I needed to get up on my terms, helped them understand that I needed time.
Often in life when we make mistakes, screw up and fall on our faces we get up too quickly and we don’t take time to heal ourselves. Take inventory and see how the pain affected us.
So, when we are thrown curve balls and we don’t catch it, sometimes we get wounded.
And most times, when we get wounded, we ignore the pain and move on.
But our mind and body remember.
While you think you’ve moved on and are ready to continue playing, every hit you take the layering of your wounds begins to happen. Slowly, as more curve balls are thrown your way it becomes harder and harder to hit the ball out of the park.
Because you haven’t fixed the problems.
You haven’t taken time to heal.
You haven’t taken time to reflect.
You haven’t taken time to learn how to do better.
You are just consumed in the doing.
I knew that I wasn’t going to feel the majority of the pain of my fall in that moment….the full effect was going to be felt the next day, and those to follow.
And of course, that is what happened.
I woke the next morning to pain throughout my body. My arms, shoulders, back and legs.
Many times, when you injure yourself the actual physical effect doesn’t surface until days later.
Similarly, to when you have gone through something difficult or tragic in your life.
We have a tendency of finding ourselves on auto pilot and we tell ourselves we just need to get through it.
We go into survival mode.
We don’t accept the helping hand that is being extended to us.
We don’t stop and take a moment to see how did we get to this spot or point in our life.
And when we skirt past the difficulties, the wounds get thicker and thicker.
And it is hard, because life is moving at such a fast pace. We are comfortable moving on to the next challenges thrown our way.
Never taking a moment to catch our breath.
But what I am learning, is that we need to slow down and sometimes just stop.
Stop when it is the hardest.
When you are in the thick of it, with your face in the dirt.
Stop and take that hand that is being extended your way.
It’s okay to take it.
It’s okay to ask for help and shoulder the burden of what you are carrying.
Your family is your team.
They are there to help you win.
Sometimes we are so focused on where we are going, we don’t stop to see where we are.
Going through this global pandemic has taught me to slow down and ask for help.
Putting my hand in my husbands and feeling his strength as he helped me, made me feel safe, seen, understood, and most importantly loved.
Being in the game is important.
But so is knowing when your face is in the dirt, because that is where the real learning and growth is.
Being in the dirt is your opportunity to take inventory and decide how you want to proceed.
Do you want to take that hand that is reaching out to support you? Or do you want to go it alone?
I recommend taking the hand.
And when you see someone else who has fallen and is in the dirt of life, be the hand.
More than ever we are going to need the support and help of all those around us.
And they are going to need us.
So, my message in this baseball fiasco situation of mine is to stretch yourself and limber up for what’s to come.
Engage and do what you can do.
Be brave and bold and move beyond that which makes you comfortable.
But be prepared to fall.
Just don’t stay down in the dirt alone.
Look up and see who is around you. Who are your people that love you and want to help you?
Know who they are.
Keep them near.
And when you fall…and you will…we all do, take that hand.