Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again

Bloke-Falling-DownYesterday I heard the old phrase, “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.” Good advice? Well it depends on the speed with which you pick yourself up. Boxers who are knocked out often revive after the count and immediately want to get up. They’re stopped from doing so. Getting up too quickly is dangerous.

I wonder if picking ourselves up too quickly, without really reflecting on and understanding what knocked us down in the first place, puts us in danger of being knocked down again by the same thing.

A delightful saying by Max Eastman says it all: “I don’t know why it is that we are in such a hurry to get up when we fall down. You might think we would lie there and rest awhile.”  True for whatever shape or form our fall may take.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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36 Responses to Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again

  1. theINFP says:

    I like your point of view, it’s makes perfect sense. After all we are supposed to have 8 hours sleep to recover from just doing human each day……. 🙂

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  2. nrhatch says:

    Yes! Sometimes we need to reflect a bit about what tripped us up . . . so we don’t keep ending up in the same hole:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/theres-a-hole-in-my-sidewalk/

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    • Don says:

      Nancy, that post on your blog in the link you’ve provided is brilliant. It’s so good. I encourage others to read it.

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      • nrhatch says:

        I thought it would resonate with you. It’s a great poem.

        I know some folks who get stuck falling into the same hole over and over again . . . and they never think about how they might change their approach.

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    • Don says:

      So true Nancy and thanks. Would love people to read that poem. Very good. Great to have your trackback. Thanks.

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  3. lolarugula says:

    I often take your advice in a literal sense – I’m quite clumsy and occasionally when I fall down, I just sit there for a moment and laugh. I’m beyond the point of embarrassment, I guess. I love your point of view though and you’re right – maybe we should spend a little more time reflecting and a little less time just reacting. Great post.

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    • Don says:

      What a marvellous attitude. The ability to laugh at oneself is such a freeing thing. You’re obviously a person who is very comfortable with yourself. Thank you.

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  4. Well its never too wise to take action when one is overwhelmed with emotions, and when one falls down, I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of emotions going on 🙂

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  5. Understanding why we were knocked down in the first place is essential for starting all over again with proper intent. Sometimes getting back up may take a bit longer, sometimes it’s a reflex. Whatever the speed, reflecting and processing will create much more positive results. Yet another thought-provoking post, Don.

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Melissa.You’re right, whatever the speed it needs to be accompanied by good reflection and starting again, as you say, with proper intent.

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  6. Hudson Howl says:

    Yes sir ree Don, you get a carrot for this one.

    There seems to be a preconceived notion that because we can measure time then everything must be resolved with a set period of time. Always, there is those who speed along seemly in a hurry to get to nowhere in particular fast.

    When your down, what knocked you down most likely occurred over many years not over night. So it stands to reason fixing it could take just as long if not longer -going down hill is easier than climbing back to the top. Just my thoughts on it based on life lessons, past and present.

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    • Don says:

      That last paragraph of yours does it for me Hudson. Love that insight. We do live in a context of instance action. It has to be sorted out now and so our answers and our “picking ourselves up” are sometimes extremely quick and superficial, although there is a place for quick thinking in crisis, but even then it still has to have a depth dimension to it – don’t you think.

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  7. Kathy Marsden says:

    I was consoled by your thoughts of staying down for a bit. My down and out is a lengthy bought of flu,made even longer no doubt because I didn’t stay down initially and help my body fight this virus by resting! Accepting the things I can’t control is not easy for me, but I gave in yesterday and handed all the tasks that make meaning for me over to others. I know this is a physical thing but it’s also about attitude. Thank you for the reminder that this down time can also be a time for doing things differently and spending time with myself!

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  8. darrelhoff says:

    wow wow wow… this is very cool Don. thank you 🙂

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  9. 🙂 Yes, I guess I agree with you. Definitely take time to reflect on what knocked us down in the first place but don’t dwell on it. Once having learnt from that lesson, get back up and move forward (taking care not to trip over the same obstacles again – which, in my case, are frequently simply my own feet 😀 )

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    • Don says:

      “Don’t dwell on it.” I so agree. It’s so easy to chastise yourself over and over again and blame yourself for not having seen it coming.

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  10. ladyfi says:

    So true! Although we’re always encouraged to pick ourselves up as soon as we can, it might be better to lie there for a while while pondering on how we got there in the first place.

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  11. Kathy Marsden says:

    Just love this community! Read all the comments and replies so far and feel so encouraged. People out there are listening and sharing and helping each other along. Thank you, all and thank you, Don! I feel better having listened to all of you. God bless!

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  12. Pingback: There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk | Spirit Lights The Way

  13. Love the pause (maybe linger a bit) and “reflect” while still “down.” Make good sense!

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Eric. I don’t think we’ll ever grasp the impact of the pauses in life on our lives. Thanks for dropping by and commenting – much appreciated.

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  14. I often wonder the exact same thing Don, and have found valuable insights as I lay in the dust after a recent blow from life. There is so much to learn from introspection, especially after we fall. Thanks for this wise reminder! Cheers, Gina

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  15. Don, I think you’ve shared some wonderful wisdom in suggesting we make use of our “down time.” I think the human spirit is most teachable after a fall. Mine sure is… 🙂

    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  16. Love that quotation! When we do ‘fall’ it is so important to give ourselves time to wonder why, to reflect and hopefully avoid ‘falling’ in the same way again and when we ‘fall’ ill, it is crucial to allow ourselves time to recuperate – but we are all in so much of a hurry are we not?
    The best ‘fall’ though is falling in love! 🙂

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