"You'll still find hope there," I told her.
"How could I? I'm down so low in life I can't see a thing."
"Down is really a great place to be. Everything is always looking up!" I told her and then went on to explain.
I had been so depressed at one point in my life, that I prayed to God to take my life. Every morning when I woke up, I'd curse the day. I was unemployed and in great debt.
But it wasn't until I crashed, literally hitting the floor that my life would change.
My life became very predictable. I had been desperately looking for a job. Each morning I woke up I'd grab the local newspaper from my porch. Bypassing the news, which during that time was depressing enough, I immediately looked for the want ads. Running my finger slowly down the page, I'd carefully scan for something new. Anything that caught my attention would be circled. It was early in 1990. There was little to circle.
That day there was nothing at all.
By this point I had already sent out hundreds of resumes to every conceivable employer within a 100 mile radius of my home. Of course, because of the economy, so did thousands of other unemployed mid-lifers.
I remember that day as clearly as I can see today. Sadness and despair washed over me like sweat on a hot, humid day.
I stood up from the kitchen table and walked, no, dragged myself into the living room. The paper slipped from my hands as I lost all touch with reality. My heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit, suddenly just gave up on life.
I looked up at the ceiling and tears gushed from my eyes.
With every last bit of energy I screamed, "God help me!" and fell to the floor on my knees. I wept openly for a few minutes and rolled over on my side. I lay there crying still, now curled up in a fetal position.
I don't remember much of my time lying there on the floor, but I do remember waking up and finding my Old English Sheepdog next to me.
I, too, was as low as I could be.
You might think, "How sad!" or "How very depressing!"
It actually saved my life.
Jim Rohn, professional speaker and inspirational writer would call such an event, "The day that turned my life around."
Despair and anguish were like an infection running through my system.
Hopelessness and thoughts of being a failure were lies raging within my very soul.
That moment, my crashing to the floor was one of the greatest moments in my life.
I was down so low that "up" was the only option.
I believe, that my cry to God that day told Him that I was ready for Him to take over. Up until that very moment, although I may have prayed for help, I was never really willing to accept it at all.
There is a story about a man in search of an audience with a great Sage. The day they met the man began to tell his story, never ceasing, never yielding to the Sage's input.
Finally the Wise Man raised his hand to stop the conversation.
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"Yes, that would be fine," the man replied and continued speaking.
The Wise Man placed the small tea cup in front of the man and began to pour from the tea pot. He continued pouring until the cup was filled beyond capacity and now overflowing onto the table.
"Stop!" the man shouted. "It is more than full!"
The Sage set the tea pot down on the table and said, "You came here for guidance but, like the cup before you, you are overflowing, unwilling and unable to add anything to your life."
Before I emptied myself by letting go of it all that day, I too, was much too full of myself to permit God to take over.
If you are struggling with life and find yourself face down on the floor, remember two things.
"Down is a great place to be, because everything is always looking up."
And..."You can't fall off the floor."