“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” (Lewis Carroll)
It’s nursery rhyme day in my son’s kindergarten class. All kinds of fun is planned—including the opportunity for each child to recite their favorite nursery rhyme! In helping my son prepare for his big moment of recitation, I was surpassed to learn that Humpty Dumpty is his favorite nursery rhyme. (Don’t ask me why I thought one about a spider or rolling down a hill or dogs and bones might appeal to him more, lets just say I was wrong!)
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
You can learn a lot from Humpty and his unexpected adventure; his fall. Who knew nursery rhymes could be such great life lessons?
It’s like this. We all take a “fall” or experience at least one failure in our lives. (Lucky me, I’ve had many! I’ve survived some big ones!) Some falls are self-inflicted by the poor choices we make, others are thrust upon us through the choices of others. Some falls occur because we tried our hardest but sadly, still fell short. Others occur by “accident” or in the natural course of life or living. But regardless of how we get them, we still get to experience them—to lose someone or some thing (or in extreme cases, pretty much everything!) That falls happen is a given, it’s what you do with them that counts. And that’s the key to every fall: YOU.
Humpty fell off the wall and no one could do one thing about it. Nobody else could put him back together. It was up to Humpty to decide his fate: cracked, forever fallen or rebuild. Sure, others would be there for him and his friends, I’m sure, would do everything they could to support him and be there for him; but it was up to Humpty to do it. Just like it’s up to each of us to pick ourselves up and carry on after a fall.
I’ve learned for myself that you can survive anything if you choose to. I’ve seen firsthand that total devastation doesn’t have to mean absolute ruin forever. I believe there is darkness, but I also believe that after even extreme darkness and heartache and devastation can come dawn—light, life, healing, happiness and joy! If you think your dreams are shattered, pick up a broken piece of one and work to put something together again.
If you do that, I firmly believe you’ll succeed. Just don’t be too surprised when the outcome of your effort, the ending, the “happily ever after” you create from the shard shard of devastation you’re left with is every bit as good (and sometimes even better!) than your previous dream.
“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” (Flavia Weedn)
It’s the unexpected life. Full of adventures you never dreamed of, but that add to the rich tapestry of your experiences, as you weave a life story even Humpty Dumpty would envy.