Thoughtful Thursday – When Life Knocks You Down

life-has-knocked-me-downWhat do you do when life knocks you down? Do you just let it keep knocking you down, just lay there and let it run over you, blame someone else for all of your misfortune? Many people do exactly these things. You will hear them say things like, “if only I were prettier, more talented, or more whatever,” or “it’s not my fault that I’m like this or that this happened, it’s so and so’s fault.” There are many days that I see and hear this on social network, television, etc. At some point we have to stop blaming the situation or others and start taking responsibility for our own actions and the things that happen in our lives. Yes, at times there are things that happen that we have no control over, but you still can make choices about what to do and where to turn when the crisis passes.
Many years ago I learned to put a proverbial trampoline at the bottom of my so called “barrel.” That way each time I hit the bottom I knew that I had the ability to bounce back from whatever was happening at the time. With age it has been a little bit harder to “bounce” back, but I’m still trying. It just takes a little longer these days. Trust me when I tell you that I have been through my issues and problems, and just because one gets older they don’t necessarily go away. The benefit is that with time and age we, hopefully, have learned how to deal with things better. The important thing is that each time life knocks you down, you get back up, dust yourself off and press forward again. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, get up every time and move forward again. It would be difficult to tell you how many times  have had to get up, brush off and start again, but I always do. Is it easy? No, it never is, but I can tell you that it is worth it in every aspect. It makes you stronger and more resilient, more compassionate and you learn how to love deeper. You learn the things that are of the most value to you, and trust me when I say that they are definitely not any of the things that are tangible.
We, as a society need to quit telling our young men and women that they need to look a certain way, act a certain way or any of the myriad of things they see in print, on social media and on television. Far to often I see posts from my granddaughter about how fat or ugly she is because she doesn’t fit the “image” that everyone seems to think that women need to fit. While I was still living in Utah I actually gave up trying to date because of the same problem. At this point in life I have no issues with my body image. Already hit the “bottom of the barrel” on that one. One look through the profiles though and these men are looking for a “Barbie Doll” woman, that skis, bikes, mountain climbs and all sorts of things in their sixties. There may be a rare few, but what they are really looking for is a trophy to show all of their peers that they can still be a “man.” This is in the “if only” category along with their ego in my opinion. You need to understand that I am not obese or anything like that, but I do have some issues that preclude me from being able to do all of these “fun” things. Yes, I have snow skied, water skied and I like to hike and camp. No, I don’t mountain climb because I’m afraid of heights. There are things that I love to do like go for walks, dance and things of that nature. I even enjoy the amusement park and swimming. So you see, it’s not that I’m an “old fuddy duddy.” It’s mainly that society has decided that even at my age I need to meet this “standard” and unfortunately many males help to perpetuate it. It is no wonder we end up getting knocked down again and again. Just remember, put a trampoline down there and bounce back. Quit hitting the bottom and staying there. NO ONE, including society has the right to dictate how you should look, who you should be or anything else. Yes, we do have to obey the laws to keep us safe, but aside from that, be yourself. If you don’t know who that is anymore, find out again. It can be an exciting journey as you rediscover who you really are and the talents that you have hidden deep within you. Until next time, have a great week.
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