I first heard this proverb in Haiti and it struck a chord with me. I did some research on it and it has been attributed to several different countries and people, but the wisdom remains.
Another similar proverb says, “A stumble is not a fall, but rather to move forward more quickly.”
And who doesn’t want to punch themselves in their own faces afterwards. I certainly have had those moments fo deep shame. I have had some pretty significant failures in my life. Infertility. Divorce. Failed Adoption. I’ve lost a job. I’ve failed people I care about. I lost fifty pounds and gained it back. I lashed out at my kids. I said something I regretted.
It’s easy to imagine that I am a failure. It’s easy to give up and give in and want to quit.
But this small proverb has held me for years.
It’s a proverb that says, “Dear Shelley, your stumble is not a failure. You are still upright and as long as you are upright, you have the chance to move forward. In fact, you stumble might even propel you forward more quickly. Don’t quit now! Look how far you have come in spite of the stumbling around!”
My friends. I put this saying on a shirt for our fall collection because I want you to also know about this proverb and I want you to also remember to have grace for yourself.
Are you a disappointment to someone? Do you wish you could have a do-over? Did you do something you regret or can’t take back? Do you feel ashamed? Do you want to quit something you really care about because of your failure?
Well, today you are still standing. Pat yourself on the back for that! It’s not over yet! And although you may have stumbled, you can still move forward. This is the power of Grace. It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to cling to it and move forward- even if it’s through the forward lurch of a stumble!