The Arena Floor


“The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.” Brene Brown – Rising Strong

I am one with the arena floor.

I have gotten knocked down in a spectacular manner, and I am down for the count, bloody, bruised and winded. Falling fucking hurts. It doesn’t matter who you are. When you get your ass kicked, you feel it.

And sometimes, you spend a few more minutes (hours, days, weeks) on the arena floor than perhaps is strictly necessary.

And sometimes you don’t.

What I am learning as I move through life is that falling is not evidence of failure, or weakness or unworthiness. It doesn’t happen because I suck, or because I deserve to fall, or because I am not meant to do great things. I don’t fall because I am fundamentally unskilled, or because I am a loser.

I fall because I refuse to stop trying.

I fall because every time I get my ass kicked, I get up and haul my ass back into the arena and re-engage.

I fall because I don’t give up.

And it hurts because, rather than armouring up, getting nasty, fighting dirty or cheating, I walk into the arena with my heart open. I remain vulnerable.

Vulnerability is not weakness, but it does mean that if you live your life being the person who keeps walking back into the arena and daring greatly, as Brene Brown talks about, you are going to get hurt.

And that is evidence of COURAGE.

Courage – the ability to do something that frightens one.- strength in the face of pain or grief. 

To live courageously is to risk failure, and facing failure means doing something I am afraid of.

Doing something I am afraid of is the only way to demonstrate courage.

If I am not scared, then it isn’t courage.

Courage and fear walk hand in hand.

I was fired from a position recently, and not a week later was involved with my family in a car accident that totalled our beloved Volvo. Every one of us walked away with nothing more than bumps and bruises, and I am grateful, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a terrifying 15 seconds that will take me some time to process and put away.

Life can change so fast, and the unexpected doesn’t knock. It just barges in and sets fire to your world.

Now I am embarking on the path of recovery, physically, and emotionally. It is time to begin to get back up off of the arena floor, dust myself off and decide my next move.

This does not happen in a moment, or perhaps even a month.

Rising will be the work of my lifetime.

And telling the story is why I am here.

xo. S.

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