The bouncing back journey is a long one. It is not simply, as so many will tell you, a matter of just getting back to your feet. I have tried this several times and I simply get knocked back down again. Like a punch drunk boxer, if I keep doing this I am just going to become less and less able to defend myself.
Theodore Roosevelt, in his ‘The Man in the Arena’ speech talks about ‘daring greatly‘. This is not about being brave enough to simply step into an arena, nor is it just about being brave enough to simply get back to your feet once you have been knocked down.
Daring greatly is when you have the courage to get into the arena and face your foe, and yes, it is about getting back up when you get knocked down, but it is also about what you learn from being knocked down to better deal with the fight when you do stand up again.
Don’t let life just keep knocking you to the ground over and over.
Brene Brown in her book ‘Rising Strong‘ tells about having the courage to , when lying face down in the middle of the arena, open your eyes and look around you. Observe and understand what is happening, know how it feels to be lying face down in the mud, your face covered in blood and sweat. Feel the pain that you are feeling. Learn the lessons and then dare to rise greatly.
I have read and read. I have read like I have never read before but still I get knocked down. I get frustrated at being knocked down again and I tell myself that I am not good enough to beat this. This sets off yet another cycle.
Just when I think I have learned all of the lessons, just when I think I have this thing beat, I get knocked down. I didn’t expect it to happen again and that makes it feel even worse.
I have to know that I simply have not learned all of the lessons yet and that I may never know all of the lessons, but I do know that every time I rise again, I rise as a greater person than when I got knocked down.
We need to not only acknowledge and deal with the knock-out punches that we endure. We need to deal with the body punches, the jabs that we feel but that do not knock us to the ground. Feel them and acknowledge that even these blows are wearing us down, making us more vulnerable when that big knock-out blow does come, because we all know that it is coming.
If you are a reader, I do recommend that you read Brene Brown’s book ‘Rising Strong’. If not, get help, do something just don’t sit there and take the punches.
None of this is easy, don’t kid yourself and do not give up and stay lying face down.
I know I do, and I figure so many people look for an easy way. I hope each week that I will win Lotto. I read books and I checkout websites, looking for that answer to just jump out at me. An inspirational bit of advice or a meditation technique that will stop these feelings that I feel, that will stop me from getting knocked down and if I don’t find it today, I keep going back to that website, day after day, knowing that one day that person will post that one vital piece of information that I need.
Some people look for divine help. Some seek the meaning in all of this, the meaning of life. This must be happening to me for a reason, it is all a part of a divine plan and this is my part to play in it. Someone knows what is happening to me and will reveal the plan to me soon, then this will all make sense and I will be saved.
Well the bad news is that religious people are probably just as susceptible to suicide from depression as everyone else. Yes lean on your faith, it is important but do not rely on “the meaning of life” to get you through. It will not provide you with the answers.
The answers will come from the meanings IN life. We need to learn them and not just keep getting back to our feet expecting that things will be better this time.
In the times when we are feeling well it is easier to simply not think about ‘it’. We want to just enjoy being where we are at, and so we should, but these times, when we are at our strongest, are the best times to deal with some of our issues. If you feel an urge to explore what’s going on or feelings that you have been feeling, then allow yourself to do so. Facing your emotions is a vital part of being able to rise again.
Know that for most people the low times are only temporary, for me they last only a few days, and then I begin to feel better again. In those times it is important that I am learning and understanding so that when I do rise to my feet again I rise as a greater person. Know that this is a gift that not everyone has been blessed with but one that has been given to you.
Your turn: please, share your rising greatly story with us ….