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Falling Off A Cliff

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”  -Vince Lombardi

I didn’t know that I still had so far to fall off my regular positivity practice and the complete loss of stability and balance I struggled with today left me reeling. I have given up searching for the cause,  given up believing that if I could just name the brokenness, give it a reason, it will all make sense. The harder I try to reason my way out, the deeper in I fall. I know I have found the bottom when the familiar, ancient voices of despair and hopelessness feel like an old robe,  stained and ripped, but somehow still fitting too comfortably.

It is my daughter who throws me a line. My daughter, who has just in the last few weeks learned the power of presence and maintains it despite watching me disappear into some unrecognizable form of myself. “Remember you told me,  that these are the moments when you really know who you are, when your real strength and character shines through.” I did remember saying that, and not only to her.  It was the basis of weeks of personal development training that I used to give here in Seattle when she was a baby.

“You also told me,”  she continued, “that often when it is most dark, that is right when the breakthrough happens.”   This is also true and a truth that I have previously clung. Usually when you can’t take it one more minute, something will give. So many people quit right before they are about to cross the finish line.  The burden becomes so heavy that they are only looking down.  They can’t see how close they are.

I had tears in my eyes when she reminded me of the last part about learning to stay with it, whether it is a relationship to yourself, your work, or your lover. We often have to choose over and over, each day asking ourselves if we can stay for one more day. We make our commitments true a day at a time.

So I am crawling up the abyss inside myself again. I thought that dark cavernous negativity was eradicated in me.   Today I find that this is the work of a lifetime, or at least my lifetime.  I remember one last thing that I told Ana a few weeks ago,  a reflection from one of my oldest friends. The thing about endings, about when it’s over is that you know it, the world shows it to you clearly. Real endings don’t have a question. I think maybe I am coming close to understanding that, too.