My father knocked on the sliding glass door, gesturing for me to come unlock it and provide some sort of assistance. Setting aside my project, I walked through the living room and into the kitchen where he stood outside, still mouthing and pointing, as though I could read his lips and mind. I probably could have, if I had paid attention, but I was absorbed in my project and not game for reading minds at the time.
As I neared the sliding glass door, my bare feet hit a surprisingly slippery part on the hard wood floor and, with one step, I suddenly found myself airborne, gasping, and knocked completely off both of my feet. Time slowed to a crawl as I witnessed my feet fly up, making me parallel to the floor, as if suspended by an invisible hammock. My squeal was a long, drawn out, abnormal sound and then, all at once, time started going again and, because it had slowed down, it had to go faster to catch up with itself and within a blink, I found myself slamming into the unforgiving floor, solidly landing on my sacrum.
I groaned with the impact and thought, ah shit! That is going to be a problem tomorrow!
Sprawled on the floor, stunned, and peeved, I couldn’t quite catch my breath. Lying there, I could smell the culprit – Lemon Pledge. Someone had used Lemon Pledge in the kitchen, spraying it with abandon upon whatever surface they had dusted and they had paid no heed to the fact that they were creating a death trap for an unsuspecting person.
Attempting to gather my wits and dignity about me, I slid about on the surface like a cat on an ice-capped pond. I skittered and slithered toward the sliding glass door, my knees finding no better tracking than my bare feet. By the time I made it to the door so I could use the handle to steady me and heave myself up, I was more than a bit exhausted, in pain, and quite frustrated.
Slowly rising from the ground by hanging on the sliding glass door handle, I stood unsteadily, feeling slightly dizzy. My frustration bubbled near the surface as I explained my theory about the invisible slick patch to my father. He seemed unfazed. I slid my foot along the ground, trying to find the spot, but to no avail. Apparently, my fall had wiped out the spot. Or so I hoped.
In that moment, I was witness to my inner dialogue. It went something like this:
Angie, you really should get out the mop and clean the whole area so no one else falls. Ah heck! You didn’t make the mess. Let whoever it was that made the mess clean it up. It would be kind if you cleaned it, Angie. And then you would guarantee yourself that it is gone. You couldn’t find the spot again. Just forget about it. It’s fine now. You’re too busy to stop and clean the floor that someone else was too careless to worry about. Clean the floor, Angie. No. I don’t wanna.
So, I walked away, rubbing my rump and regrouping so I could get back into the frame of mind for my project.
For the next several days, I seemed to be the only one who discovered that spot. No one else complained of falling or even of sliding. No one else had their feet falter. Not one other person in the house mentioned the slippery wood. The person who had used the Lemon Pledge confessed to doing so, but did nothing to remedy the situation because this person had not yet fallen.
I was the only one that had fallen. And, each time that I came near the spot, forgetting that it was there – and also forgetting that I was, apparently, the only one that knew or cared about the spot – I would slip and slide across the floor. After the first fall, I slid five times, jerking my body this way and that, twisting my spine quickly at unnatural angles, hanging onto the wooden dining room chair that was naught for support because it simply tipped over and slammed into the glass door with resounding thud. Five times.
On the sixth time – yes, there was a sixth time – I literally was knocked to my knees. Hard. With a slam on my patellas that made me cringe and shot pain through my body to my ears. The force of the slide and then the sudden impact of the floor sent me forward so I found myself on my hands and knees, pain radiating from four points of contact.
“GODDAMMIT!!!” I swore, out loud – REALLY loudly – to the empty house.
And there, on my hands and knees, I heard God chuckle. “You going to actually do something about this now?”
I knew He wasn’t chuckling at me. He was chuckling at my predicament, my stubborn persistence to ignore the very thing that was causing me to continually hurt myself. He was chuckling because He had witnessed my inner dialogue that first time, and every time thereafter, and He knew that I was choosing to not do anything about it. And I was paying the price.
I chose to rise from my hands and knees, giggling in concert with the chuckling that resonated through my body. I brushed my hands together, as if to loosen tiny gravel particles that were imaginarily embedded in my palms, straightened my clothes, turned my head this way and that and popped my hips from side to side to loosen up the kinks, and then promptly went about cleaning the floor once and for all. It was time that I got accountable for my own experiences and changed what was within my control. I scrubbed and scrubbed that floor, being certain to get any possibility of lingering slipperiness, all while laughing at my series of unfortunate events.
That slippery spot is now most certainly gone. I haven’t fallen once in the week since I scrubbed it away.
Often times, if there is something that Life really wants you to understand, the opportunity will arise time and again, until you take heed of it and follow Divine impulse and do what is being asked of you. In the beginning, these experiences can be gentle, nudge-like experiences, but over time they can escalate until you find yourself on your hands and knees, swearing at God and any who are listening. Until you CHOOSE to go into the experience and interact with it based on Divine inspiration and action, you will continue to be faced with the circumstance that is stretching you to receive your knowing.
So… are you going to wait until you are knocked off your feet? Or are you going to choose to solidly step into it and address it now?
(This post was originally written on 6/10/2013 and posted on a now-closed site)
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