Finding yourself face-first on the ground, spitting out gravel, tasting blood, maybe even missing a tooth—it’s not fun. Whether literally or figuratively, when life knocks you to your knees and then kicks you flat for good measure, you’ve got some choices to make.

Just like everyone alive, you’re probably going to have to pick yourself back up hundreds of times in your lifetime. There will be a few of those times when you’re not sure you can ever get back up—and there will even be a few times when you won’t know whether you even want to get back up.

You can read a first-aid manual to find out what needs to be done before you get back up, if you’re literally on the other side of road rash, but what about the figurative road rash? What if we had a first-aid manual for the soul? Would it say things like:

* If you’ve been knocked down and your heart is bleeding, you’ve got to assess the situation before you get back up.

* Do you need to stabilize any wounds first?

* Has your breath been knocked out of you? Are you in shock?

* Try not to panic; you don’t make good choices when you panic. Do you need a tourniquet for your wounded heart so you don’t bleed out?

* Lay there for a moment and breathe. Stay where you are until help arrives.

We get knocked down in all sorts of ways. It’s harder to see the internal injuries, isn’t it? The emotional ones, the gashes to your ego, the obliteration of beliefs, the devastating grief that comes from losses of all kinds. It’s life’s road rash.

What does it take to get back up?

Well, It takes a strikingly paradoxical combination of decisions, starting with asking yourself contrasting questions. When you’ve found yourself down, down, down, ask yourself these questions and see what comes up:

1. How can I show myself some gentle mercy here?
2. How can I push myself with strength I never thought possible?
3. What do I need to get away from?
4. What do I need to move toward?
5. What is too much here?
6. What is not enough here?
7. What knocked me down?
8. What will lift me back up?
9. Who am I now?
10. Who am I no longer?

The answers to these questions, answers that only YOU can come up with, will help you get back up. Not only that, they’ll help you heal from the road rash. As you’re picking the gravel out of the wounds of your life, you’ll be thinking about where you want to go once you’re mobile again. And that’s an important thing to think about. You’ve got to decide what direction you’re going to travel once you heal and get back up. Will you go back to what knocked you down? Will you head in a new direction?

Here’s something more . . . to remember once you get back up (and you will). Movement can be very deceptive. Walking or running away from something can look exactly like walking or running TOWARD something. There is a great benefit to walking toward something-not only will you feel motivated to keep moving toward a place you want to end up, but without even thinking about it, you will be automatically moving away from what you thought you needed to run from.

We have to WANT to get back up. Not because we feel imminent danger in staying where we are, but because the place we are wanting to make our way to is so compelling we don’t even THINK anymore about where we fell down.

Walk TOWARD, my friend, instead of AWAY from. You are not weak for feeling like you can no longer be where you are-you are STRONG for having the courage to get up and head toward where you belong.

Your life is worth whatever it takes.

Get back up, warrior soul, you are needed!

With great love,