wisdom

Don’t Get Back up Too Soon: A New Mantra for Challenging Times.

 

When you fall, the change of view has something new to show you.

Don’t get back up too soon.

When life buries you beneath a heavy pile of stinking shit, and all you want to do is get out of it as quickly as you can, remember that compost takes time to decay, but it ends up richly fertile.

Don’t get back up too soon.

When everywhere you look, all you see is trash and ruin and a path of destruction, remember trash is often treasure, almost anything can be recycled. When something is torn down, it’s an opportunity to start anew.

Fossick in the trash heap until you find your treasure. Collect what interests you to recycle. Be the architect of your new landscape to transform what was ruined into something even more amazing.

Don’t get back up too soon.

When your body feels broken and no move you make leads you out of pain, when every path you try fails to lead you to a solution, relax into the loving stillness that calls you to stop running away from yourself and your life as it is right here now.

Surrender your striving for an outcome based on your terms and to your timeline. Surrender your fear that healing won’t come, but don’t give up your belief that it is possible. Faith is your lifebuoy. Go to ground until you feel the tug inside guiding you back up onto your feet, but until you do, stay where you are.

Don’t get back up too soon.

When you feel like you are sinking, drowning in the roughest storm of your life, surrender your struggle, and remember you are buoyant in the ocean. Sometimes waves just want to push you in a new direction. And the rip current is only trying to carry you out beyond the breaking waves.

Even if you are pushed under and held down, take a look around. The seabed is scattered with treasure. Stay until you find it.

Don’t get back up too soon.

When your life is slowly burning down around you, rapidly reducing to a pile of flaky grey ash, remember it is from the ashes that the phoenix rises reborn. Don’t cling to your old life, it is already up in flames. Let it burn. Dance at the bonfire of your own death and imminent rebirth.

Don’t get back up too soon.

When you are lost and scared in the thick of the forest, and unable to find a way out, remember the Number One rule of survival: stay where you are, and don’t panic.

Sometimes we just have to sit and wait for the light. Dawn always comes, although sometimes it feels like an eternity before it does. And other times, our rescue finds us exactly where we are if we sit and wait. Don’t scramble madly through the undergrowth hoping to find your way only to become even more lost, and scratch and scrape your beautiful skin unnecessarily as you go. Stay where you are and wait.

Don’t get back up too soon.

“Pick yourself up and dust yourself off.”

“Get well soon.”

“Get better soon.”

“Soldier on.”

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is that you get back up.”

These are all mantras of our modern life, and can be useful at the right time and in the right circumstance. But as I have discovered, sometimes when life knocks you down, you just need to stay down for a while.

During the last 12 months, I have experienced a continuous string of injuries that dominoed up and down my body from my left foot to my left hip and pelvis to my lower back then back down to my left foot and back up to my right hip, pelvis and lower back again. I have lived with pain every day for the last eight months, and my only way to appease it has been to come into stillness.

At first, I tried to get back up and get going again, to soldier on, to get better soon, but it didn’t help. I needed to stay down. And when I finally stopped resisting my situation and trying to keep on going, I began to see it as a gift — an opportunity to stop in this ever-busy world, to take a different view, to listen to the wisdom that is in my body, and hear how it wants me to inhabit it with more kindness and gentleness towards myself.

So now I say don’t rush the getting back up and getting on with it. The most challenging times of our lives are often the richest in growth, learning and transformation.

Stay down until you’ve learned what you need to learn, until you’ve fertilized the soil so the roots of your new life can take hold and be richly nourished. Stay down until you’ve found the treasure or at least a new point of view. Stay down until you’ve burned to the ground so your inner phoenix can rise.

Don’t run from yourself or the circumstances you’re in. Remember the web of life that holds you.

Don’t get back up too soon.

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Kym Wilson is a writer and coach currently based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a seer of the sacred, and a gypsy, mermaid, pilgrim spirit whose deepest dreaming is to encourage the courageousness of others to walk their unique path out into the world vulnerably and deeply. In 2013, she walked the Via Francigena pilgrimage route from Canterbury in England to Rome, a journey of more than 2,000 kilometers over 85 days that she walked almost entirely alone. She will soon release her book about her journey and is dreaming about where she will walk next in the world. She writes openly and vulnerably about her own life journey, and whispers sacred reminders to courageous hearts over at her website.

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