If you know the history of ring Around the Rosie, it is a very morbid little game. It started during the black plague and “ashes, ashes we all falls down” is about death. The children on the outside of the circle are suppose to pretend to die at the end of song.
With all the talk of the deaths of Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse and how their self destruction ended their very gifted lives. I started thinking how even the most stable and sensible of us will fall, it is unenviable. The questions though are: How far will we fall? How fast do we go down? How hard will we land and do we survive it?
When we were little and learning how to ride a bike we fell. But we were told how important it is to get back on the bike and keep going. Over and over we would crash and cry from our cuts and bruises. Usually there was someone we loved there to comfort us and motivate us to get back on the bike and try again.
We learned not to give up because our desire to ride the bike was more important than the temporary pain of our fall.
As we get older our falls get bigger and the landings harder, we lose jobs, we lose spouses, we lose parents, we are diagnosed with diseases and our body and spirit ache with the thought of having to go on . As adults we are expected to self motivate ourselves and are looked at as week if we ask for help or a hand up. Many times we fall so hard, so many times, we lose all desire and we simply stop trying to get up. It is easier just to stay on the ground than go through any more pain. But then we are just in pain AND on the ground.
Anyone who knows me wells, knows I am a klutz, I walk into walls on a regular basis and I am probably the only person in history to fall “up” the stairs on a regular basis. I am used to having to pick myself up over and over again. But a physical fall, like the one from the bike or the stair case is far easier to recover from than an emotional or spiritual fall. Bruises and cuts heal, our bodies were wonderfully made by God with a built in healing system. We can watch our physical wounds slowly heal as the pain subsides. However the wounds that are deep in our hearts and souls somehow never heal all the way. They haunt us like ghosts in our minds reminding us of what we have done or what was done to us. Leaving us feeling empty and alone.
I struggle spiritually from time to time and tend fall back into my same old habits. Sometimes a glass (or a bottle of chardonnay) goes down a heck of a lot easier than dealing with the day. But after the bottle is gone, the issues are still there and the only things I have to show for it are wasted money (which could go to an new pair of shoes or earrings), empty calories, and a head ache to top it off. Not a smart choice in retrospect but then a few months go by and it will seem tempting again, but hopefully the pain of the last fall will keep me from doing it again.
“Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. Falling down is not the tragedy, it is the choosing not get up that is the real tragedy.