Dear friends,

All those inspirational metaphors about “falling down and getting back up” have never worked for me.  I understand the sentiment, but I always think: everybody gets up.  It’s what you do after you get up that counts.

Some people will stand still.  Some will move forward, slowly, dragging their feet and resisting the need to move on.  Others will run recklessly toward the same situation that made them fall down in the first place.  Some might sit down for a moment and reflect on what went wrong, some might ask a loved one to hold their hand for a while, and some might forge ahead without really processing what happened so they can take a lesson from it.

Here’s a different metaphor that I like better.  Imagine a long pole across your shoulders, with bags hanging on each end, and each of the bags has weight – these are “burdens.”  Some might be related to work, or to family, friends, or finances.  Some are heavier than others.

Sometimes life hangs a new “bag” on your pole.  This leaves you feeling unbalanced, as you were used to carrying your burdens a certain way, and now there’s a new one.  You have to adjust, get used to the added weight and the way it’s distributed over you.  Then you can start stepping forward again.

Fortunately, weights can be removed, too.  The resolution of a problem or a difficult situation makes the burden lighter – but we still have to get used to the change.

We can also take on the burdens of others, in an attempt to lessen their load.

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.  I fell down, and I got back up … because that’s what you do.  Now I have to adjust to this new weight, and start stepping forward.