Do Not Look Where You Fell

Do not look where you fell; but where you slipped.

African Proverb

Today’s card is a good one: a perfect one if you are journaling your life or writing a memoir (or even fiction). I could fill many, many pages in response to this proverb.

But what does it mean?

The proverb means this: It’s stating that you should look at the CAUSE of things that have happened in your life that have gone wrong, rather than the symptoms that caused the fall. Falling is the symptom – why you slipped is the cause.

Think Harry telling Sally about his wife leaving him for Ira in the iconic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. Jess tells Harry his wife’s affair is just a symptom that something is very wrong in the marriage.

When we slip, we can go one of two ways. We can catch ourselves and right ourselves or we can fall. Sometimes we fall hard.

As a writer of fiction, my characters are constantly falling. The fall is what brings us to the story and helps keep it going. The same is true in life. We all slip. We all fall. But it’s how we come back from the fall that is important, and that requires us to look at the CAUSE of it. When we do this, we can learn a lesson.

This one’s pretty deep, so I’ll stop here and just let you think about it. I know I will.

Where’s my journal. Time to write about it.

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