Monday, September 29, 2008
Here's something I found on-line and had to share. By Jimmy Patterson:
We fall down, we get up
Karen and I have talked a lot recently about stumbling. Not literally, of course, but the spiritual and emotional stumble. She feels bad when she feels the urge to not be quite so healthy on a particular day and so she'll trip and order some nice, juicy, gooey, cheesy enchiladas at a Mexican food restaurant and then she'll spend the rest of the night wondering if the stumble is long term or only a fleeting break in what has otherwise been a wonderful self-improvement journey for her. And I consider my own issues and how I try to battle them daily. They are there. And then they are not. And then they are there again. And I wonder what will it take to finally get over those issues? What will it take to have total self-control for the rest of life? To do good every day for ever?
But one day recently it finally dawned on me: that perpetual goodness that we all wish we could achieve may or may not ever happen. We confront our demons, our challenges, our issues, whatever, every single day. We crawl out of bed and put our game face on and we go out and show ourselves to the world and we have no idea what the day will bring and how we will respond and often all we can do is try our very best and hope for the best.
After this bombshell epiphany dropped on me (it took only 48 years, understand), I told Karen that we can't really see ourselves as failures. If we have that chimichanga and beer after 30 days of Weight Watchers dinners and bananas and walking two miles a day, it's not a failure. At least it doesn't seem like it should be considered a failure to me. Life to me seems like a series of days, weeks and months of doing good followed by, hopefully, shorter periods of falling down. We fall, we pick ourselves up again, brush off the dirt and the leaves and whatever else has caked on us and we keep on. And then we do well for a while again and we feel good again and then one day we wake up after a bad day at the office and we don't feel like doing so good so we fall again.
The cycle repeats itself ad infinitum for many of us. I doubt seriously that any of us set out to do good in life and accomplish that task for the remainder of their lives every single waking moment. But it's not for lack of trying.
The good and the not-so-good cycle applies regardless the aspect of your life you've decided you need improvement. It doesn't matter your vice or your bad habit, you try to do better and then one day you wake up feeling like today's not the best day for doing good and so you don't.
If you fall down frequently, don't despair. It is not the falling down that is our failure. It is only in the failure to get back up.
Posted at 01:21 PM in This Real Life of MIne | Permalink