Can We Really Fall Upward?

Can We Really Fall Upward?

Today’s Thoughtful Thursday is short and sweet, more thought-provoking than inspirational this week. The book I’m reading, Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward, is not new, but it’s new to me and particularly impactful, perhaps, since I’ve hit that sixtieth birthday. Yes, I’ve vowed to grow and stretch myself, but I’m also trying to make sure this next stage of life is as meaningful as possible.

Although the title of the book intrigued me, its first sentences “nailed me to my pew,” as my pastor father used to say:

There is much evidence on several levels that there are at least two major tasks to human life. The first task is to build a strong “container” or identity; the second is to find the contents that the container was meant to hold.

Oh my! That was deeper than I was expecting.

By this stage of my life, I suppose my “container” is complete. And perhaps I’ve even chosen the right attitude of discovery for this next task of finding its contents. But how does that relate to “falling upward?”

Although I’m not very far along in the book, the message I’m getting so far is that our “falls,” or the failings we encounter as we build our “containers,” or identities, can actually be a source of strength and understanding for the next task of life. Our struggles serve to create a foundation for moving “upward,” growing, and finding meaning.

Somehow that comforts me, not only for myself, but for my children and for others who I know are struggling with some tough life issues. I envision life as more of an evolving pyramid instead of a rigid timeline.

Some of us may have a larger base than others, but our experiences, great or small, can be used to enrich that second task of life. In fact, those falls and what we learn from them may equip us to handle and engage more fully in that second task of life.

My father may have said it more simply:

“The harder you find life, the more life you’ll find.”

Amen, Pop!

How about you? What does Rohr’s opening message say to you? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Neehah! Note the new name!)

P.S. Come see me this Saturday, March 17th, at the Perry Hall Library Author Showcase. I’m the first speaker—yikes! At 1 p.m. I’ll be delivering a five-minute reading. (Yes, I’ve rehearsed and timed it!) I’m so honored to be joining this fabulous group of authors (see below) for the afternoon. Hope you can join us!

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