Life can be wonderful but sometimes it can throw something at you that leaves you wanting to escape from reality for a while. Whether it’s a practical concern or an emotional problem, there are times when everyone needs a soft place to fall.
As a mother, it’s something that I accept without question for my children – if they hurt themselves, if they have a fall-out with a best friend, if they don’t get the grade they wanted in an exam – I’m there to hug, hold, soothe and encourage.
I do it without hesitation and for as long as required, for the knowledge that I am their soft place to fall is as beneficial to me as it is to them. They are loved, wanted and needed. And so am I.
In an ideal world everyone would grow up feeling secure and safe even when things went wrong, but many don’t. I was one of them. A nightmare of a childhood left me searching for anything that would numb the memories and take away the pain. Alcohol became my soft place to fall, or my ‘hurt healer’ as I called it. It worked for a while but soon the drink turned from friend to foe and I was forced to make a choice between ‘addiction and death’ or ‘sobriety and life’.
The thought of losing the security of alcohol and having to join the real world was terrifying. Emotionally immature and fearful of the real world, my worry was ‘Who’s going to catch me if I fall?” In fact by that stage I was physically, psychologically and spiritually bankrupt and there was nowhere to fall to!
To get up and stay up though I had to find another sanctuary that would fill the void of alcoholism. As the slow process of self acceptance began, I found that it was possible to be my own soft place to fall. No longer was I constantly critical and judgemental. Instead I chose to view myself with compassion and empathy. And as I started to trust myself so came a trust in others. Today, I can reach out to my husband, daughters and good friends to give me a hug, listen to me, and reassure me that they are there for me.
A soft place to fall doesn’t even have to be a person. For me sometimes just listening to some tranquil music,relaxing in a bubble bath, going for a quiet walk, enjoying the fragrance of the garden, reading a comforting book, a short time of prayer or reflective thought can all have the same nurturing effect. Life will always have ups and downs, celebrations and disappointments, miracle moments and tragedies. So when times get tough it’s always good to have a soft place to fall.
Top image: Love is a soft place to fall by Amanda Cass http://www.redbubble.com/people/theartoflove/works/5024121-love-is-a-soft-place-to-fall