Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Falling

I fell again. It truly pisses me off. Last week, I was in my kitchen, with its hard, tile floor. I'd opened the door to the dishwasher and turned towards the sink to grab a dish. When I turned back, I'd forgotten the dishwasher door was open, and I fell over it, backwards, on my hips and back. For those of you who haven't fallen lately, or don't remember what it is like, it is discombobulating to suddenly find yourself on the ground or the floor. I laid there, flat on my back for a few minutes, checking to see if I could move all my parts. Luckily, I didn't break anything--this time. Yes, I was still jet-lagged, but really, that's not a good enough reason.

Here's a brief summary of the falls that I remember: fell off my bike and fractured my right ankle in three places--the doc said if I was a horse, they'd put me down; I fell while on vacation in Mexico and severely sprained my left ankle; I trip on stones, cracks in the sidewalk. You name it, I'll fall over it.

So this time, I got quiet. Real quiet. And asked myself what is going on with me about falling. Am I just a clumsy person? No, I don't think so. I'm fairly graceful and I dance pretty darn well.
Am I being punished for something? No, I don't think so. Spirit doesn't work that way. Then I asked if Spirit was trying to whisper something to me? The answer came. I've always fallen. As a small child, I fell and required stitches in my chin; I fell and concussed my head. If there was ice, I'd fall walking to school. Falling has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. What is the opposite of falling? Spirit asked. "Standing up."

And I got it. Boy did I get it. As a child, it was impossible to stand up for myself. In fact, I'm still struggling with being able to stand up for myself. And standing up for oneself means being able to say "no" when it's required. I am the primary caregiver for my 88-year-old mother-in-law. I adore her. She's a lovely, warm, loving woman. But her care needs are escalating just as my needs are making themselves known. And it is creating internal conflicts.

Now that I have some awareness that my falling might have something to do with my learning to take better care of myself by being truthful, with myself as well as with others, perhaps I won't need that particularl message hammered home to me in such a brutal way.

What is Spirit whispering in your ear that you may not be hearing?



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm so sorry! That must have really hurt...especially hitting the corner of the DW door.

I fall down quite a bit...usually down my steep stairs. I've always been very, very clumsy. But you're definitely not, with all you can do. You're very good to listen to your body and analyze what the bigger problem might be.

I believe my spirit is telling me I need to take better care of myself and THINK what I'm doing instead of barreling into everything (and falling down stairs like a Saturday Night Live sketch.)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Joanne said...

Very interesting correlation between your falling and your state of consciousness. It's so intriguing how our feelings and thoughts often manifest themselves physically. I've heard this before, and also thought that once we realize the manifestation, the physical symptom will stop. Hope you're feeling okay!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Glad you weren’t seriously hurt. I tend to get clumsier when there’s too much on my mind. I guess it’s nature’s way of saying slow down.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Happy to hear that you had no major injuries.

I look at my falls, be they physical, emotional or spiritual, as times to be quiet and listen. It's at those times that the Lord makes it clear to me that I've been hurrying in the wrong directions or going to fast or if I keep on "falling" I could be in serious trouble if I don't stop.

I pray you will not suffer any more falls and that the Lord will strengthen you and protect you and heal you. May you be blessed today in ways you can't even imagine!

Jen Chandler said...

O my goodness! I'm glad you're alright. There is nothing more annoying than falling. I've always tripped over things (even things that aren't there) so I can understand where you're coming from.

The message you received is very interesting. I applaud you for seeking out deeper meaning in the seeming "mundane" everyday in life. Not that falling is mundane :)

Perhaps my tripping can be seen as the self doubt I have always had. I've always been confident until...woops!...a little doubt here, a look from someone there, a tale of someone's success down a path that looks strangely familiar. I tend to trip up when talking about my current writing projects and my business I'm in the process of creating.

Thank you for posting this! I've never thought to look at my "tripping" as something more than just, well, clumsiness!

God bless,


L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's one of those things I'm sure you wished you'd figured out much sooner!

I'm always running into things, particularly with my legs. (I'm pretty short to the ground - you'd think I would notice coffee tables and the like!) However, I've never broken anything or required stitches. I major in the minor injuries!

Guess I'll have to think on that one...

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'm glad to learn you're fine. Finding yourself flat on the floor can be a somewhat disconcerting experience. I'm like Elizabeth; I can fall down the stairs. In my defense, they're carpeted so easier to slip on. I just need to slow down and look first. You'd think I'd have learned it by this age, but obviously not. Oh well.


Helen said...

So glad you're okay. I'd never thought of the Spirit trying to tell me something. I recently fell, too. Twisted my knee, sprained my ankle and broke my toe.

I slid in the rain as I ran to get in the car where my husband had pulled to the curb to get me. I lay there on the cement, discombobulated, and thought, well, is he going to come help me? When he didn't (turns out he didn't see me fall), I thought, well, I guess I'd better get myself up.

At the time, I didn't think of this, but now that I read your post, perhaps that thought was the Spirit was speaking to me as well.

Straight From Hel

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm another who's had some hard falls, usually because I'm not watching where I'm going.

Spirit wants to remind me that I need to keep my eye on the path/goal because I tend to let my mind wander.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are okay. Have you ever considered taking a class like karate to learn how to fall in the correct way? I learned how to fall in gymnastics class and when I do fall, I am not hurt because my training kicks in on the way down.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! But I like how you learn a lesson from this -- that you need to "stand up." And I'm impressed you had the guts to post about it, share this with all of us.

I enjoyed reading the comments on this one. Maybe it's partly because I'm still under 30, but I still fall well. I like to think it's because I played so many sports growing up -- my hands automatically shield my face, and I can usually get out of a fall without hurting myself. And I fall often when I'm trail running!

Glad to hear you're okay, Karen.

Cyndi said...

Wow, that is an amazing revelation. I'm not sure too many people would be able to dig deep enough to make that connection. I have read that dreaming of falling = feeling your life is out of your control. Having difficulty sticking up for yourself (saying no, setting boundaries) does make your life out of control. I've been there too, still am working on that myself. I'm happy you weren't hurt too badly and hope this realization marks the end of your falling.

Tabitha Bird said...

Glad you are okay Karen. sorry I am so late to your blog. I had a mad day today. I think the Spirit is trying to tell me that is is okay to need to fall down sometimes and to stay down and rest :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Karen -- I was having Blogger troubles yesterday so am trying again.

I'm another one who has taken some hard falls across the years, also spraining my ankle on two vacations. My problem is that I don't watch where I'm going.

Spirit keeps reminding me to keep my eye on the path (or goal) and stop letting my mind wander.