When is the last time you fell? Was it more like a stumble and you caught yourself or did you go down spread-eagle and land flat out?
I’ve fallen several times over the years. The most recent time was down the stairs. Well, I should say, down the last stair. It easily could have been avoided. You see, I was carrying something in my arms and couldn’t see the bottom step. I thought I was at the landing, but no, I still had one more step to go. I lost my balance, dropped what I was carrying and couldn’t recover quickly enough to catch the railing. So…down I went. Of course, I fell on top of what I’d been carrying, to add insult to my injuries.
My fall also created a commotion because my family was concerned and came to discover me at the bottom of the stairs, splayed out and more than a little upset.
Worse still, there were many suggestions about how my fall could have been averted. Yes, I knew that already.
Later when I was calm and reliving my adventure, I realized that had I not been carrying anything or had I arranged what I was carrying so that I could see forward and downward, I would not have fallen. As we used to say when I was a kid, DUH!
So why had I carried this armful of stuff and risked a potential fall?
The best I could come up with was, ‘I didn’t even think about it, I just did it. I picked up the stuff and started down the stairs, assuming all would be well.’
Here’s the thing. Had I arrived safely I would not have had to consider my actions, but because I’d fallen, I needed to see if there was a teaching in my experience.
I strongly believe there is a teaching in every single action in our lives. We are so often blissfully unaware of this, but if we took a moment, we might see there could be truth in it.
Case in point.
I sat back and considered, could it be that the same thing happens to me emotionally? Am I carrying too much with me, making it hard to see where I’m going?
If I am excessively thinking about or stressing over something in my life and allowing it to overwhelm me emotionally, is it possible that it results in my falling?
My answer is an unequivocable ‘yes’.
Is it possible we all do this?
I can certainly see how I can lose my balance and become unsteady when I am worried, angry, overtired, jealous, distracted or any other emotional state.
Some of these are very heavy loads.
Might it not be a wonderful idea to release some or most of what I carry with me, especially those things that block my view? To let go of or set down objects or thoughts or habits which take up so much space?
The world offers us an overabundance of concerns. How many can we carry without losing our balance and falling?
It’s a difficult question to answer.
I also know it’s an important one for me. Perhaps it is for you as well.
I think I would be wise to consider releasing anything that feels too heavy, knowing it could cause me to fall. Here’s just one example.
There are those in my world who believe I should stay informed. I should read the paper, follow a news feed on my phone or watch the evening news, so that I stay abreast of world events. They don’t seem to understand the cost of this to me. I feel deeply for what others are going through and it weighs on me, heavily. It overwhelms me and pushes me out of balance emotionally and spiritually. And the truth is, there is little, if anything I can do to remedy the world’s situations.
I must choose what to carry with me and what to set aside. If I want to live a beautiful life, I benefit from paying attention to what I am carrying and whether it allows me to stay balanced.