If I start falling….. By David Reid Otey

If I start falling, don’t push me the rest of the way over the edge. Please grab my hand and pull me back into a balance, so I can have a chance to change my steps, my beliefs, my hurtful ways, my stupid and dangerous choices. I do not ask for codependency. I will not claim that you do not understand my pain and tortured thoughts.  I do not ask for entitlement. I will not claim to be so sick, stupid, ignorant, disabled or lazy that I won’t work to try pulling my own share of the weight in family and community.

I have already seen blind, crippled, maimed, diseased and severely burned people regain their lives independently to become a strong and proud part of their families and communities. They had the right to scream out, “You don’t understand” to many.  But they have the love and support of many by choosing to try, to give, to live among others instead of hiding away in a private world of pain. They allowed others to pull them up and forward and into a better place, better peace, better lives of greater joy and hope and success.

It is very hard sometimes to leave the mental room of self pity. There is a false significance, a twisted self-worship in pretending to be the most abused and misunderstood person in the world. There is no competition when hiding away from others. It is easy to make daily dark clouds of ”poor me” statements to sustain a personal package of pain and self-torture; to maintain a dreary, lost, hopeless, bottomless pit type of existence,  when being allowed to hide away from anyone who would tear it all down with talk of dreams, gifts, connections of love, personal growth and contribution.

I met a middle-aged lady outside a small town grocery store one chilly autumn day. She stood with her bicycle when I made the mistake of asking her, “How are you today?” She told of her leg pain. I tried consoling. She said no medicines work and no one cares. I offered ideas. She said she already tried every single one of them. She listed more complaints. I offered more compassion, nodding, saying more ideas. Soon I understood that her life will be a constant and consistent package of self-induced misery for all of her life because, for her, it is easier to feel important by spouting off how hard her life is rather then by making any effort to make it better. Sometimes laziness can become a disease. But it’s more than that. It’s a trained and conditioned helplessness. She pushes herself over the cliff every single day. Nothing will ever be good enough. No one will ever be able to do anything well enough for her. Yet she seemed genuinely unhappy, or maybe bragging about misery carries a perverted happiness of its own addiction. When I had enough of her glorifying tragedies to listen to I said, ” hope the day goes better for you”, and walked away.

The encounter led me to think about why I will never become like her. What is it that will protect me from sitting in self-pity beyond a heathy time frame ? The answer is my family and my friends. I have friends because I connected with those people through church,  through classes, through work, through creative events like open mic nights and through volunteering. I have a social job, teaching. I also extended my teaching to after school lessons for music and martial arts.  I believe in dreaming and forming the dreams into reality. I believe I have talents for a reason. Others have told me I am important to them when they said “thanks” for teaching their kids to be stronger. I felt empowered enough to begin a women’s self-defense class-Level one, as a contribution, to have in churches and social centers and for girl scouts. They said “thank you” for making their lives safer. I knew how to seek out the help I know I needed when life was changing, by talking to friends, by watching videos of speakers on youtube, by reading books by the speakers, by paying attention to the opportunities that appeared and by grasping them and working with them and becoming more of the dreams I want.

Life is action, creative action that leads to certainties mixed with unknown surprises and unknown results. A Successful and Happy Life is accepting two continuous constant facts:   1. You WILL make mistakes often and consistently, in differing areas at different times, because that is part of creating and personally growing in life.   2. You WILL survive the mistakes, learn from the mistakes, be stronger because of the mistakes, and be led by your corrections to becoming a better and more creative person.

There are two types of  “falling” : 1. The one where you missed a step, forgot a point, let go too soon, held on too long, forgot to stay in the kitchen when you cook, didn’t think before speaking or acting or temporarily forgot you are equal to almost everyone else.

2. The kind where you give up everything and everyone who loves you, who stood by you, who accepted you as you are–to think of only you and the misery you have, and to handle it all on your own in a pride seeking to prove yourself as a king or queen who needs no one for anything. You give it up  to be abused by your own self-world, one of a kind, not of this world, twistedly, pervertedly unique–because this disease of extreme loneliness makes you hate yourself as being not deserving of anyone else, but you want them all to see it because you really do need attention like the rest of us. You give up to be seen. You take yourself out of life to be missed.

If you can see that those actions are pleas for recognition, for validation that your humanness is needed as much as anyone is needed, that you are disconnecting instead of connecting, and that you need to give someone else a chance to hold you, to include you into their lives, to let them be blessed by who you are and what you have to offer to make this world, their world a much better and happier place, you can and will save yourself and save those who would be lost without you in their lives.

Every one of us has loving, good and creative value for others to grow in and with. We were made to be joiners to life, extenders of life’s creative possibilities. So, if you start to fall, fall into someone else instead of away from the world. Fall into arms that want to hold you, that WILL care for you and help you heal, who will give patience and peace. Fall into another chance. Fall into the risk of hope and maybe, instead of into despair and self-degradation. F.A.L.L.  Faith And Love Live.     The end for now.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s