The Art of Crashing

Who can relate to learning how to ride a bike as a kid, and the inevitable crash that followed?  Maybe it wasn’t the first day, but at some point, you became comfortable, and stopped paying attention to what you were doing, or you attempted a new trick, only to come crashing down.

Maybe you never had this experience with a bike.  For you, maybe it was on a skateboard, or rollerblades, or surf boarding in the ocean.

I’ve experienced many crashes in my life, but I’ve never surfed (nor is it on my list of top 10 things to do).  However, when I watch surfers, I can’t help but notice what grace and skill they demonstrate.  Effortlessly, they appear to mount their boards.  They negotiate waves of all sizes with more ease than I can manage to prepare a simple dinner.  And have you ever watched them wipe out?  There’s no flailing about.  No out of control appearance of their extremities.  Just one fluid movement as they hit the water.  How is it they look so graceful while crashing so hard?

These are the sorts of things I wonder about.

Here’s what I decided:  there must be an art to crashing.

I imagine instinctively, their arms poised, ready to protect their heads.  (There will be no flailing all over the place.)  I also guess that along with not getting knocked out, a main area of focus is how to quickly get to the surface for oxygen.

After that, what is there?  (If you’re a surfer, I apologize — I’m positive I’m  WAY oversimplifying this.)

First, let’s assume the surfer wasn’t injured.  We’ll agree that with the fall, what the surfer was attempting to do didn’t turn out the way he/she had planned;  they may even call it a failure.  So, what have they gained?

Knowledge.

Knowledge on how to:

  • stay up longer
  • maintain focus
  • better maneuver the waves
  • fall with grace, not for the sake of grace itself, but for the sake of survival

And all of this encompasses The Art of Crashing.

Without the crash, where does the knowledge come from?  Reading a “Surfing For Dummies” book?  Watching YouTube videos of surf boarding?  While not bad ideas, the art of crashing provides the firsthand knowledge that leads to the goal of how to stay up longer, how to maintain focus, how to better maneuver the waves….

How many times in life do we fall?  Fail?  How many times do we crash?  And after that fall, failure, crash, how often do we decide it’s just not worth it?  I won’t love again because I don’t want to get my heart broken.  (Crash.)  I won’t attempt to let anyone see the real me because I don’t want to be betrayed again.  (Crash.)  I cannot trust because….  (Crash.)

The broken heart, the betrayal, the inability to trust, those are the crash.  Be the surfer who crashes with grace.  Not for the sake of grace itself, but for the sake of survival.  Your survival.  And after your survival is realized, and you know you’ve reached the top of the water, and that yes, indeed, you’re inhaling the air which is now filling your lungs, continue to push forward.  Ask yourself what knowledge was gleaned by living through this experience?  What lessons were learned?

There is a definite art to the crash.  It thrusts us forward and helps us heal as we take what we’ve learned to mend the broken heart.  To allow others to see the real us.  To Trust.

I encourage you to look for the surfer within.  Examine your crashes and be open to the lessons they reveal.

For all those seeking HOW to Trust, and specifically to GL, who shared much of her heart in an email that prompted this writing, think of Trusting Life as a spiritual law.  We must step back and allow it to work — that’s part of the art of it.  When we worry, over-think a situation, hold grudges, and so on, we interrupt the flow.  It’s through listening, becoming aware, letting go, and accepting What Is that we’re able to Trust Life.

Trust begins inside of you and radiates outward.

Feel, Know, BELIEVE that you are taken care of.  You are never alone.  There is a bigger force, a bigger plan that you are unaware of.  Trust.

 

Back to the Basics on This Whole ‘Holy Moly’ Thing

I’ve been in New York City since last Friday on our family vacation.  It was the best!  A first for our boys.  I found myself observing them — A LOT.  Not just to make sure they looked both ways before crossing the street (oh, they were so oblivious to big city traffic!), but to watch their reactions, to watch them as they took in the city.  As a parent, to observe them experience the city was my biggest joy.

So, why the nagging feeling in the back of my mind?  Yes, I was sure it was there, day and night.

It was all of the Holy Moly stuff that’s been plaguing my mind. I hadn’t been able to totally Let Go of it.  As much as I wanted to enjoy vacation, I can’t deny that this whole topic of our kids, their future, societal pressures, who they are growing up to be, what am I going to do about it?, ALL OF IT, was looming somewhere in the back of my mind.

As I crawled in bed, our last night there, all of these thoughts, along with the joy of the last several days swirling around in my head, made for quite a muddled soup… I reached for my phone and read the following email:

Leslie,
In response to your “Holy Moly” series

Raising a child is the most eye-awakening experience into one’s self.  I was prepared by who I believe is the most perfect mother ever, but I made choices through my teen and young adult years that may have had me in many places other than where I am today, and I was a GOOD kid!

All to say, as my mother did, I started preparing [my son] Elijah for this world as early as I can remember in an age-appropriate way: sex, drugs, alcohol, ‘bad touches’, racism (and all other types of ‘-isms’).  Understand, never did we talk about any of these things without including the humanity and goodness within others — none of us can get too far without others.

The themes I cherish most (and can go on and on about) are “village” and “journey.”  For the purpose of responding to your article, here’s where I see these themes fitting.

Village

In raising my own children I’ve realized it wasn’t the perfection within my mother, but the perfection within my village, the same village still standing by me today and loving me regardless of my imperfections.  They guide me through storms even if just in their presence and not words (for some, in memory).  No parent, no matter how good they are, can raise a child by themselves.  Each person is complex and every person within the village gives a little something different, rounding out those rough edges and giving them a piece of confidence in the greatness within themselves.  I often say, You have to build them up very high because there are enough folks in this world chipping away at them saying “you can’t,” “you’re not good enough,” “your not smart enough.” — We need to give them something to have left over for them to build their confidence back up and hope they don’t drown their sorrows in unhealthy choices.

Journey

Through Elijah I’m learning it doesn’t matter how perfect I am, or how perfect his village, this life is HIS journey and NOT MINE.  You see, at one time or other, we all had feelings of being invincible, which is what gives us the courage to take wonderful chances as a child/teen/young adult we’d never try as an adult or have to be convinced to try (I love this about young people).  But this invincibility is also the thing allowing them to think the negative effects of drugs, alcohol, unprotected sex, etc will not happen to them.  All we can do as parents is to expect the best we believe our children can deliver.

Yes, expect the best, but then allow them to have their Journey and make their own choices, then pray (pray, pray and pray some more).

I was tested on this thought this year, and in the end I didn’t get the results I wanted through my intelligent teen son, but I was prepared for the worse and told him it was his choice (consequences included).  In the end, he made the right decision and I only pray the fact I stepped back is what gives him the confidence to continue to trust himself to make the right decisions through his journey and to know, Mommy has her own journey and God’s work to do.  God put me here to guide him, prepare him, teach him about himself, but not interfere.  This Journey right here, this is his journey to do God’s work.  If I interfere, how will he ever learn?  And if the Journey is hard — then I pray he will find his way out and testify with the right words to keep someone else in His light and on the right path of their Journey.

A lot said, but basically all we can do as parents is the best we know how, but when our children are presented with the worse, it is THEIR choice.  If we’ve done our best, we can’t blame ourselves and second guess the contents included in how we’ve raised them.

I’m most happy that with some of the ubber bad decisions I made, my Mom prayed for me (and still does).

~~~~

Thank you, oh so very much, Shaunte, for sharing this with me and allowing me to share it with our TLT readers today.

The mothers we’ve heard from recently (click here for the previous mother’s story) have shared from the heart, exposing their truths, their fears, their strength, their vulnerabilities — themselves.  Through their very Real and raw disclosures, I see a theme and a reminder.

Theme

To Trust.  They both wrote of it.  And we all know, I write about it every day.  However, in the grips of Life, it’s sometimes easy to get ahead of ourselves, to want to DO something overt.  Doing something is fine (and I’m still noodling there — maybe a Trust Life Camp for kids??), but with a solid foundation of Trust, that’s what melts away the fear.

Reminder

To Pray.  We can wish and we can want, but Praying and Trust go hand in hand.  Pray that IT IS, Do Your Best, Trust.  Then, Amen.

At the top of the Empire State Building

The comments from you all on this one have been such a blessing.  Please continue to leave your comments, shoot me an email, whatever you’d like.  This is a prime example of how YOUR SHARING has directly helped ME to learn and grow, and no doubt, helped OTHERS as well.

Sending you all Love, Love, and more Love,
Leslie

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

I believe there are city people, beach people, and tree people.  Yes, tree people.  Tree people consist of those who prefer the mountains, the woods, the forest — anywhere they can be surrounded by trees.

I am a tree person.

Take a good look at these trees.

trees help know yourself

Just looking at them makes me want to walk among them, touching the twists and turns of the intertwined branches and trunks.  Admiring their uniqueness.

They are not your standard trees.  These trees have character.

What if, as young saplings, they were told by their elders, “No, no, no.  You’re doing it all wrong.  You’re growing improperly!  Grow straight and tall, like us.  That’s what a real tree does.”

Confused, not understanding what they were doing to displease their elders, the young saplings tried to grow straight.  They concentrated hard, making every effort to reach straight for the sun.

The more they tried (to become what they were not), the more they failed.

The elders began to chastise them.  “What’s wrong with you?” they would ask.  “Why can’t you do your simple job?  No one will ever love you looking like that.”

The saplings believed the elders.  They grew more twisted, less straight.  Sadly, they did not see their beauty.

 

fairy in woods

 

One day, a lost fairy entered the wooded area.  She was quite young herself, and didn’t yet realize that trees could read the thoughts of fairies (and humans alike).

How lovely, the little fairy thought.  What exquisite tress.  This must be an enchanted forest; it feels magical.

The saplings began to smile.

The trees were mesmerized by the little fairy.  They watched, with both curiosity and awe, as she began to flutter about, flying high in the air, dipping down low, spontaneously making figure-eights in mid-flight.  As she glided between gaps in the branches and trunks, her heart soared.  With every tree-filled, joy-filled breath she took, it was as though she was finding more of herself among the trees.

As she flew away, the trees could feel her happiness.  They themselves were happy.  But more than happy, they felt fulfilled.  No matter if she returned or not, these young saplings now knew their worth.  They chose to see it.  And believe it.

One small fairy.  One small fairy who saw the beauty in the different, the unique.

Young saplings, I ask you, which will you choose to believe?  The story that you are doing it all wrong?  Or the story that you have within you the inner power and strength to be uniquely who you are?  That you can grow up to be anything you want to be, no matter your age.

Choose to see that inner power and strength.  Choose to believe it.

Know your worth.

Find yourself among the trees.

We are defined by the stories we tell ourselves.

Know Yourself.

If a story about trees and fairies is too “hooey” for you, try this one on:

At a very young age, Steve Jobs was told by a neighbor girl that he had been given up for adoption — “discarded,” was the word she used.  As you can imagine, upon hearing this, he ran home to his parents, crying his eyes out all the way.

When they asked him what was wrong, he told them what the little girl had said, that he had been discarded.

They responded by telling the young Jobs that he was CHOSEN, he was not discarded.

Which story is true?  The little girl’s story or Jobs’ parents?

Answer:  Whichever story you choose.

Whichever story Steve Jobs chose to believe.

Ask yourself this, TLT readers, is your story helping you to maximize what Our Creator has given you?  Or is it helping you to fall short?

Choose your story.  Choose who you are.  And who you are not.  Choose to know yourself.

Choose.

I dedicate this post to my boys, Davis and Christian.  Be who you are.  Always.  See your truth in the story you choose.  Love, Mom

Learning How to Trust — The Ultimate Guide

Access the Complete Trust Series from This Page

Thank you for joining me in this step-by-step guide to Learning How to Trust.

Below are titles and links to each of the seven posts in the Learning How to Trust series.  If you’re interested in learning how to trust, this guide is definitely for you.  While you’re reading through each post, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time with questions, comments, concerns, anything.  This is what I do!  This is what I LOVE doing, sharing with others — how trust works… and ultimately, I want you to have the tools to bring more peace into your home, your life, your being.

Learning How to Trust Series, Complete Summary

Part 1:  “The First Step in Trusting. Can It Really Be That Simple?”  Click here for the full article.  

Part 2: “Why Don’t People Trust?”  Click here for the full article.

Part 3:  “Top 4 Beliefs For a Foundation in Trust”  Click here for the full article.

Part 4:  “How To Practice Trust as You Go About Your Day”  Click here for the full article.

Part 5:  “Who Is Really in Control?”  Click here for the full article.

Part 6:  “The Top 5 Reasons to Let Go of Control”  Click here for the full article. 

Part 7:  “Tell Me Again…Why Should I Trust?”  Click here for the full article.

 

how to trust

You Now Have the Key to Trust

It’s been a pleasure sharing this KEY information with you — information which has been life changing for me.

Please email me with questions or leave a comment below.  I’d love to connect with you!  leslie@trustlifetoday.com

As much as I’ve enjoyed sharing this guide with you, I must admit I’m eager to return to my typical writing style: story-telling, sharing insights into trust, love, peace, forgiveness, synchronicity…all of our favorite TLT topics!  :-)

Again, thank you for joining me on this journey of learning to trust.

In love and trust,
Leslie