Have you ever watched someone fall and it almost seems like it happens in slow motion? If not in real life, then I'm sure you've seen it in a movie or replayed over and over on social media or America’s Funniest Home Videos.
You already know it’s going to happen... The few minutes before the fall, you're cringing in anticipation of visible pain that’s about to ensue. Then, as their bodies tumble toward the ground... you contemplate whether to yell, or run and try to catch them.
But, then it hits you.... you can’t do anything at all! After all, you’re just the audience. So, you take it in and just let it happen.
Can you imagine if our loved ones put us through that experience? Except... their falls are reality — causing emotional, physical and mental injury.
Think about it.
Remember that time you saw all the red flags your friend couldn't see? So, she fell to a devastating heartbreak, yet you knew the tumble was coming. The result was her realizing her worth.
Or maybe that warning you've been preaching to your significant other, daughter, or son, but they ignored your advice — only to find themselves plummeting on a downward spiral wishing they had taken heed to your caution.
I'll admit I'm guilty of taking my friends and family through the same turmoil. Some of the circumstances resulted in a valuable “ah ha moment”, while others... well.....y'all just pray. lol
However, I've also been on the opposite side wishing I could protect my loved ones from life’s hard lessons to learn.
The past few years have taught me: Despite your love for others, we must allow them the space to make mistakes, go through their own experiences and grow from them.
As much as it pains us to watch “the fall”... It's not our job to change people or intrude on their journey. It is our job to support them as they chart their own path and come to their own revelations.
In the midst of wanting to shield our friends and family from hurt, pain or confusion, we rob them of some of life's most valuable lessons that only experience can teach.
It may not happen as quickly as we like — but, the times when we or our loved ones are hurt the most, is when we tend recognize our worth... realizing "I HAD to go through that" —- “I wasn't happy about the outcome, but I'm so glad it happened" — or "I'm so much better, stronger & wiser because of my mistake.
Imagine if someone stepped in and took those moments away from you.
Sometimes, the greatest gift we can give the people we love is to remain loyal, be gracious, and love them generously — through every fall.