I was talking to my sponsor today about just this concept. I have not always been a forward faller…I used to fall backwards…a lot. Falling back into relationships that didn’t serve me, ideas that were well worn and no longer relevant, repeating patterns that were harmful, deleterious and damaging.
And I have also been so traumatized that I was glued in place. Unable to fall in any direction because the pain so acute that I was literally held right where I was. A slight shift in any direction too much to bear.
So I know well the falling back and the freezing in place. I know those concepts completely. They are well practiced in my life and well held options for travel. However, this idea of falling forward is newer, shinier, more beacon like.
I have no idea what I am doing in my life. Some days I feel like I am just here, doing whatever comes my way because I have no other options. No one is asking me to move to France or Bali or Mexico so I will just do this job, this parenting, this life in the meantime. Sad, I know. But I think this way sometimes. Then there are other times when I am so amazed at the life I have that I am overwhelmed with the enormity of my life. And I wouldn’t move next door let alone France, Bali or Mexico.
And this is the place I think we all are in our lives. The place where the gratitude is extra proportional to our experience. The place where we live in the moment and can at the same time reflect on it. That is where the magic happens for me.
But somewhere not too long ago so that it still feels fresh and current, but not so recent that I can exactly say when, I began the reckless commitment to falling forward. Doing the work in the moment so that I could move past the past and into the present. And I have become convinced that falling forward is what we are doing as one moment gives way to the next. Falling into the grace of the now so that we can more fully accept whatever it is the next moment brings.
Think about that for a moment…
In my review of my life, I was always standing on the precipice of now, leaning hopefully toward the future but on my heels, never my tippy toes. Peering into the future for a glimpse of what might come, but when it didn’t look the way I wanted or was impregnated with fear, I allowed myself to fall back into what just was in order to try to reclaim some semblance of safety in my life.
Then something happened that changed it. I stood with feet firmly planted in the now. The collection of days, weeks and months rooting me in place here, now. And I grew in understanding, compassion and love for myself. I could no longer run away to either the past or the future. I had to deal with the current situation, me…in all my fucked upedness. Right there on the spot, seeing myself with truth, owning all my shit. And then sitting with it for a bit while it worked itself out. I stopped the habitual running away from myself and just sat there, arms folded in my lap, resting uncomfortably with the me I was without the violence of trying to change that.
In the now, I found myself. I was there, with me, grasping for nothing new or different if even from myself. And something happened…
I found the courage, and it took a lot, to lean a bit forward, then a little more. To lean into the hope that my future could look and feel better than my past. I am pretty sure falling forward might be called hope, but that feels a little heady. It feels a little arrogantly self serving. It feels like too much of a reach but then again, it doesn’t.
What I found was that once I became a fixture in my own life, roots that grew toward my own center, I could bend with the winds of change. I could even lean into them, knowing that I would stay firmly rooted to myself despite the tilt forward. I began to expect new things to come to me and they did. My life took on new meaning and purpose and I fell right into the now that I find myself.
It is Sunday morning. My favorite morning of the week. It is quiet and cold. The sun not yet chasing the cloud cover away. I hear the morning birds with their songs, the hum of the day beginning, all creatures worshipping the moment of the dawning day.
I slept well and long. Which feels like the best falling forward. Sleeping without a deadline, no alarm to roust me into the now, instead the now coming quietly as consciousness wakes me, orients me to this day unfurling.
In this moment, I have fallen into, I write, I experience, I live. I am here right now. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Present. Occupying all that is here for me now. And I find that it is me. I am here. Me. Sitting in my bed. Light filtering through the open door, I look out at the backyard world created first in my mind, then in lush landscape. I am home, truly.
I feel no angst or need to fall forward right now, confident that the day will bring the forward and the fall in due time. Me feeling assuredly easy with the coming of the day, but in no hurry or haste. I have become willing to fall forward into myself. And that has changed everything for me. This life, these kids, this home, these pets, this love is here, present with me wherever I may go and whatever I may do…always.
I begin to wonder how it came to happen, but then I remember the fray, the constant struggle. I see the claw marks I have painted over, patched and repaired. I remember but I don’t wish to shoo it away, instead just allow it to be what it is. No longer an anchor that pulls me back into space and time long forgotten, just indicators of the life I have lived this far.
Suddenly falling forward feels like diving instead of falling. I am here standing on this dock, ready to plunge myself into whatever comes next. Ready, willing, able to be so much in the present, the past in check, that I can free fall into whatever comes, and sometimes, I can even leap into rather than fall. And anyone who has ever done either knows the distinct difference between a leap and a fall, intention being paramount.
So I intend to remain affixed between the two: the leap and the fall. Standing where I am confident that the world, this life, will let me know when it is time for me to fleap into whatever wondrous beauty beckons me forward.