I hold inside me two seemingly conflicting parts: the dramatic-lay-it-all-out-there-let- your-light-shine-bright side and the sensitive-what-will-they-say-or-think-about-you-if- you-let-it-all-out-there side?
So little girl Ashley was the one in the photo who danced freely on stage in Disneyland. And the one who dressed as Chiquita Banana for her report on bananas, complete with a towel peppered with fake fruit wrapped around her head as she entered her sixth grade classroom singing.
And she was the one who erased holes into her paper when she wrote, for fear of her stories. And who obsessed about looking foolish in the school talent show when she sung a Christmas carol accompanied by her friend on the piano when other kids were playing air guitar. And who was sure people found her annoying.
So afraid to fall or be judged, yet daring or foolish enough to put herself out there.
And it’s still like this today, and maybe you know what that feels like.
To risk the fall and see that you’re still here. To fall flat on your face and know that you’ve survived.
Maybe you know what it’s like to forget the words to the song you’re singing right smack dab in the middle of your tryout for senior prom court and find that you’re making some new ones up, right on the spot. I do.
Or maybe you know what it’s like to be too afraid to pick up the pen or sing the note or ever dive into the pool. I do.
Maybe inside you is a little bit of both.
Maybe we’re all a little more like the tottering toddler than we realize — falling hundreds, thousands of times and continuing to try. Tucked inside, maybe we are all a bit like the kindergartener who won’t quit until she crosses those bars or the second grader in skates unafraid of rolling right off the stage.
Maybe, too, we’re all a little like the girl waiting on the sidelines, scared to draw too much attention to herself because people might not like her.
I’m wondering what it might be like if we remembered that we’re among those who are amazing and frail wrapped in the same skin, people like us walking around with parts strong and scared. Those who fall and get up again.
OK… I turned off the timer a few minutes in and made this much more than a five minute exercise. Bless you this weekend in your falling and in your getting up. I love you…verily I do. And I must say, without the strong arms of God to pick me up and my dear ones to clean my skinned knees, sometimes I’d choose to stay in bed instead.