Last night I fell down. I was walking home on a dark road. The road has no lights. There is a rice field directly adjacent to the dark road. I took a wrong step and fell into the rice field.
It was muddy. I got soaked and covered in mud.
After I fell I immediately got up and started laughing. Partly in disbelief. Partly in some kind of wild, exuberant happiness I cannot explain.
I thought to myself.. I am an idiot! Certifiable. Laughing at my own clumsy stupidity for falling into a muddy rice field that anyone could avoid!
I thought to myself (as I always do when I do stupid and funny things) that anyone that saw me now would think I was mad. Insane!
I also felt liberated. For a split second I had escaped the confines of normality. I was a grown adult standing in the muck laughing! What a sight!
I fished my lost shoe out of the muck and proceeded to walk home covered in beautiful earthy mud. I was sure that everyone I passed along the way was either taken by surprise or laughing secretly at this strange foreigner who seems to be delighted to be covered in a slurry of cow dung and rice sludge.
I highly suggest it.
The last time I fell down in such a grand manner was when I was mountain biking and exploring a rubber plantation trail I had never been on. I saw a small ravine to cross and dismounted my bike. I was carrying it across when my foot hooked a vine or a shrub and I tumbled.
When I stopped falling I realized I was lying with my head facing downhill, my bike on top of my chest, my back planted on top of a large boulder and my feet hooked under a few small plant roots. It took me quite a while to resolve that issue!
Once again, my reaction was to laugh at my own stupidity. Then, as last night, I thought that if anyone could see me they would think I was crazy!
But making mistakes, falling down and getting back up are something we should all do on a regular basis. Not intentionally, of course… but it happens and it SHOULD happen.
We are all on common ground. It happens to all of us. The difference is how we react and how we perceive it. Basically, it’s our ego that gets in the way if we are embarrassed.
So here’s my take:
1) Don’t be afraid– fear is a poor advisor
2) Get out and explore– do something different… you might fall down!
3) Fall down and then get back up
4) Laugh at yourself (because at the heart of it we are all the same), learn and move forward
I’ve seen so many people that are afraid to fall. I think most are.
They are living half-lives because falling down and getting back up are nothing to be afraid or ashamed of…