A BLOG THROWBACK (April 25, 2011)


I can’t tell you how many times in my preverbal capricious world I’ve been walking along in life and, “BOOM;” somebody lands a good one. An unexpectant blow to the mid-section that literally takes your breath away; left speechless. Dumbfounded and confused, you try to figure out what just hit you. The breath and energy needed to respond has escaped your grasp. Your usual brace for impact is taken by surprise, leaving you to explore how you protect yourself from it happening again. Stolen; your immediate response to retaliate. This is the unpredictability of life.

One of the most used fight scene in movies is when one man is holding up another man to be punched in his stomach. In reality it leaves the victim helpless and allows for an immediate response to bend over and hold his stomach. This momentary time to recover lends to great cinema dramatics. In the movie “Harlem Nights,” starring Eddie Murphy there was a fight scene where “Quick” played by Murphy had a fight with “Vera” played by Della Reece. In the scene Quick punches Vera in the stomach and she immediately bends over and clutches her stomach. She then rises to say; “Oh that’s what I’m talking about.” In response to being hit she lets him know; now she’s serious. This is what happens when you can brace yourself. But what happens when it catches you unexpected and unprepared? I’m sure somewhere in her character’s life, she was prepared to fight and respond to expected and unexpected blows; even if she didn’t see them coming.

However for the most part; people have not been trained to take unexpected life blows. The blow that comes on the other end of the telephone that tells you your child has been murdered; your spouse was in a fatal car accident, you have been laid-off or the results of the medical test. These are the blows of life that takes existence by the throat and dares it to breath. The trials and tribulation of life that tests your ability to overcome unexpected hits; and challenges your ability to react and recover.

Let’s ponder for a moment how different the blow must feel when your back is up against the wall and your body doesn’t allow you to bend over to recover. A state of venerability, to which you are continuously susceptible to blow after blow without the ability to protect yourself. The older generation called this, “between a rock and a hard place” or “when the stuff hits the fan.” Many of us are not prepared for a blow and definitely not ready when we are least able to take the hit(s).

Yet, there is another position that is under recognized, but more devastating. What happens when you are hit with a hard life blow; you bend over to recover and you never stand up. You are unable to recover and lack the strength to stand upright. What do we call it when you’ve been hit and doubled-over in the fetal position and can’t see your way up. Your strength gone; your pain unbearable and your tolerance for another blow are excruciatingly difficult to recover.  It’s called depression.

Many of us find ourselves in this latter position; unable to recover from the things in life that test our ability to battle back from life’s adversities. I have certainly been there and no stranger to the helplessness felt in not having an answer to my weaknesses; particularly when it challenges my manhood, my parenthood or my desire to reach my goals. So much of our lives are exposed. Left open for the opportunity to be attacked.

You are not alone.

Being hit in the stomach is an experience shared by everyone; whether they want to admit it or not. The question is; how will your recover? Will you at least find the strength to let someone close to you know you are in pain and having trouble recovering from a blow? There is an illusion of the image of your back being up against the wall; it leads people to believe you must be ok; you’re standing up. It’s the biggest trick as emotional beings to pull off. When in actuality, while we’re standing up on the outside, we’re bent over in pain on the inside.

Trust me; it’s much better to stay bent over while being helped; than standing up pretending like everything is ok and that there is nothing wrong. There is nothing wrong with lying low, while your pain and hurt is being addressed. Standing up too quick can be even more devastating to you than trying to prove you can take it. Take the 10-count…Live to face another day! Fo Real!!!!!!!

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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