It’s been a day of reflection. Today, I wrote the last page of my journal, which began in May 2021. Once a journal is complete, I like to go back and read my entries. I am always surprised by how similar topics and themes come up day after day. Why is that, I wonder.
Healing is like peeling an onion. Once we remove one layer, another is staring us in the face. And through it all, tears may flow. Sometimes out of regret, remorse, guilt and shame and other times out of deep emotional pain that we’ve buried so deep that it surprises us when it does surface. No doubt, healing is a bewildering process.
As I read through the early days of this journal, I came upon one entry, Learn How to Fall, in which I was reminded that before I could learn to ski, I had to learn how to fall.
It was a winter’s day at Owl’s Head in Québec’s Eastern Townships — one of my first dates with my ex-husband. I intended to cross-country ski that day but he insisted I should try downhill. I had no suitable equipment for downhill, but before I knew it, I had purchased a pair of second-hand skis, boots and poles. He took me to the top and took off while I slowly made my way down, snowplowing all the way. It’s wasn’t pretty.
Once I reached the bottom, I decided I clearly needed ski lessons before I tried that again!
I signed up with an older ski instructor that day who spent the whole time teaching me how to fall. You see one of the biggest fears for beginners is falling. So, before I could learn to ski, he explained, I had to learn how to fall and not be afraid of falling. My body had to feel safe skiing — and falling. Once I felt comfortable falling, the path was clear to learn how to ski.
I’m grateful I captured this memory in the pages of my journal. I needed to be reminded of this important life lesson. I could easily replace one letter in falling and apply this same lesson to failing. How many times over the past year had I berated myself for failing at something? Too many to count.
Failing or falling has nothing to do with self-worth or confidence. Failing is simply a lesson learned — not the end of the road or permission to give up. We have to learn how to fail or fall, so we can learn to feel safe in life. Once we understand it’s not the end of the world if we fail or fall, we build the confidence to try something again by using a different approach or by applying what we didn’t know or understand the first time around.
Eventually, we’ll figure it all out. And that, dear friends, requires patience, self-compassion and believing we can do something because we are worthy of what our soul desires. Once we understand its desire to learn is insatiable, we can surrender to learning. And that may require falling or failing more times than you’re willing to admit.
Learning is a lifelong imperfect and messy process, which, at times, seems chaotic. In the end, faith and believing in ourselves pulls us through the chaos and rewards us with newfound knowledge and wisdom about the world, ourselves and others.
Donna S. Vieira is a certified Gentle Trauma Release Practitioner and Astro-Empowerment Coach who uses her knowledge of Astrology in sessions with her clients. She’s also a published freelance travel and lifestyle writer, blogger, and editor who has traveled the globe. You can read about some of her travels at FromMyTravelBag.com. She and her chef husband, Fernando, own Globetrotters Bed & Breakfast/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, where they have been welcoming guests from around the world since 2002.