When I was a little girl I had difficulty walking a straight line. Actually, I remember living with skinned knees all through childhood. I could easily walk and trip over a pebble if it was on the ground. I am not exaggerating. It was so common for me that I did not even think twice about it happening to me. I got to the point that after a fall I would pick myself up, dust off my clothes and check to see how badly the broken skin looked. If it was pretty bad (and most of the time it was) I would walk home to wash off the blood and dirt on my knees and apply a bandage. So I walked around my entire childhood with skinned knees. In those days I loved to wear dresses so I’m sure I was a sight for sore eyes.
This falling and skinning my knees even continued into my early twenties. I remember one event which scared me pretty badly. I was running across a main thoroughfare in downtown Chicago trying to cross this street quickly so the truck that was waiting to make a left-hand turn onto that street could make his turn before the light changed. It was winter and there was apparently some slick water or black ice on the ground which I was not aware of. You guessed it. I fell right in the middle of crossing that busy street. Thankfully the truck driver was on top of his game and didn’t hit me when I landed.
I did eventually learn to be a lot more cautious of where I was stepping as I grew a little older. I rarely fall anymore. But in thinking of these trying events I came to the realization that my growing up with skinned knees was a sort of metaphor for my adult life. I would be happily walking through the scenario of life and suddenly take a spill, sometimes “breaking the skin” and causing myself a lot of pain (a broken heart, an unexpected turn of events in my career, the death of family member, the loss of spouse). But, after a period of cleaning up the wounded heart, I picked myself up and kept going. I never let the spills ever keep me down. Yes, I sometimes walked around with “skinned knees” for a while. The pain may have been psychological but it was still there for me to deal with. But eventually the wound was healed and I never spent a lot of time dwelling on the scars left behind.
What childhood falls or tribulations did you experience that might be a metaphor in your current adult life? How you dealt with the pain or joy of those moments may reflect on how you are choosing to react to what is happening to you today. Take a moment to recall what life was like as a child and see if those moments are still hurting you today. Have you let the wounds heal? Or are those past wounds still bleeding and causing you pain. Just being aware of where that psychic pain is coming from may help you with letting go of that stronghold.