Are You Afraid of Falling?
I’m not afraid of heights, I’m afraid of falling.
My nine year-old daughter is in love with skateboarding. She talks about it all the time—at the dinner table, on the road, while we’re shopping . . . Skating is her thing, which always makes me laugh because I was the polar opposite when I was her age. I would have never dreamt of getting on a skateboard, getting dirty, or actually being outside for any length of time for that matter. God sure has a sense of humor!
In a conversation we were having tonight, she said to me, “Mom, I’m not afraid of going down the ramp, I’m just afraid of falling.” And my advice to her was, “Cay, falling is just a part of learning. You can’t expect to be great at anything without falling down sometimes. Falling just means you took the risk to start with.” And at that moment, time stood still and the Lord whispered my own words back to me. “Falling just means you took the risk to start with.”
Afraid of Falling in Love
Love can be messy. It’s not what has been depicted in the movies or on the radio. True love can be painful at times. There are often unintended wounds, misunderstandings or just plain ol’ selfish behavior. This leads me to wonder how many people have been standing on the sidelines of life, afraid to get hurt—afraid of falling. I know I’ve been in that place. It’s our human nature to avoid pain at all cost. Remember the “fight or flight” response? When you love someone with all your heart and they hurt you, instinctively you put up a wall—a defense mechanism for protection. There has been an intrusion . . . a breach, and it must be stopped.
In her song, Bleeding Love, Leona Lewis, nails it. She sings:
Closed off from love
I didn’t need the pain
Once or twice was enough
And it was all in vain
Time starts to pass
Before you know it you’re frozen
Frozen. That’s no way to live. Love is risky. You have to put your heart out there and risk it being trampled over. You can’t be afraid of falling. You have to love someone with no guarantee that they will honor their commitment to you.
But isn’t true love worth the try?
In time you will come to learn that the risk pales in comparison to the payoff. So when you fall, get back up. When you’re hurt, dust yourself off and commit to loving some more. As you mature and wisdom comes, you will know what red flags to watch out for; you will see with better perspective. And as I told my daughter, “The next time you take that ramp, you’ll jump a little bit higher, and fall a little bit lighter.”
So don’t be afraid of falling. You won’t experience life in its fullest if you’re afraid of falling down sometimes.
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