What Will You do When You Fall Down?
At some point you are going to let others down. You will disappoint. You will fall short of the mark you strive for. You will not live up to your own expectations.
You will not love others as you hope. You will live a different story than what you want to live.
You will judge. You will exclude. You will yell and push and shove.
You will fight and fight unfairly.
You will hurt a stranger. You will hurt someone in a moment when you could have made a huge difference. You will hurt someone you love.
You will be a hypocrite.
Your failure might be a secret. A shortcoming that only you see. Or it could be made public. Broadcast over headlines.
You will fall down.
And when you realize how awful your failure is, you will be forced to ask yourself a difficult question.
How do you go on from here?
Here are three steps to help you get back up.
1. Accept and embrace your mistakes and shortcomings.
Denial, whether in private or public, will never help you. Yes, it was you who failed. You were the one who chose to do what you did. Avoiding your failure will never help.
2. Ask for forgiveness.
Understanding that you have hurt others will naturally lead to confession. Tell them you realize what you said was hurtful. Tell them you are sorry you neglected them. Admit openly that you were wrong.
3. Forgive yourself.
Forgiveness, of others and of ourselves, is one of the most liberating actions in life.
After you have taken this hardest step of all, then get back up. Re-calibrate if necessary. Head a slightly different direction if indicated.
But don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t choose to stop.
When you have fallen down, don’t stay down. Get back up and start again.