We All Fall Down

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day.

“What I learned from my mom today: ‘When I feel myself falling, I just let go and let it happen. I don’t fight it.’ This may be why after falling quite a few times in the past year she hasn’t broken any bones.”

How often do we fight the fall (literally and metaphorically)?

There are many activities for which falling is a necessary part of the learning process – walking, for instance. There’s riding a bike, rollerblading, skiing, and I don’t know anyone who’s learned to do a triple lutz without taking a tumble or two.

Learning to fall is one of the first things a young gymnast experiences. They are taught to tuck their heads and bring their arms and knees in to avoid injury.

Falling without injury was even a plot point in an episode of Monk. The villain’s alibi was that she had broken her ankle in a very public fall and therefore, couldn’t have possibly committed the crime. But Monk figures out that she escaped the fall without injury, committed the crime and then purposefully broke her ankle. He arrests her and repeats her own words, “the first thing you must learn is how to fall correctly.”

Falling is a necessary part of growth. Resisting it only makes the experience and aftermath worse. Ironically, the reality of the fall is often far less painful than the fear and struggle most of us experience during a fall.

The sooner we can let go and surrender, the sooner we can find the ground. And then we can pick ourselves back up and move forward again.