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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Do You Know Where You Stand?

By November 17, 2012

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"Sometimes it takes a good fall, to know where you stand." --Hayley Williams

I came across this quote today and it really resonated with me. This is a quote that could mean different things to different people, for sure. And for me, it reminded me of times in life where I gained true appreciation for things in my life after a loss. There are many important things that we can fail to fully appreciate until they are gone--loved ones and health are the two categories that immediately shoot to my mind. Losing a loved one can be very painful, but it tends to bring into high relief the importance of the friends and family who remain in our lives, the ones we simply assume will always be there. Knowing how much we can miss people when they are gone can really remind us of how important it is to take a few extra minutes to connect with people who are most important to us, and this can strengthen our relationships and add significant value to our lives. It can be difficult to find time to get together with those we value. It takes work to stay connected, and to fully listen when you have other topics on your mind competing for your mental energy. And many things can seem more important than taking out time to have fun and merely enjoy being with those who are important to us, staying fully in the present moment. However, these can be some of the most important things we do. Strong relationships are correlated with greater health, increased longevity, and, of course, a stronger ability to cope with stress. Maintaining supportive relationships can be more important than we realize, and hopefully we don't need to lose those relationships to fully realize their importance.

Health is perhaps even more taken-for-granted by most people, at least until it is lost. Being able to wake up in the morning free of pain, being able to move through the day freely, and knowing with a fair amount of certainty that you will be healthy and happy for the foreseeable future is something that many people can not take for granted. However, those of us who can enjoy these things often don't realize how lucky they are unless they have lost this privilege in the past or are close to someone who has. However, taking a minute to imagine what it would be like not to be able to count on good health, those of us who have it can hopefully find a greater sense of appreciation for these things. We can hopefully know where we stand--lucky--without needing to face a "fall."

As I said, the quote at the beginning of the blog can be interpreted in many different ways, and this could have been a completely different post. However, at this moment, those are the things that came to mind for me. I have a lot of appreciation for those in my life and the healthy body I inhabit. But I also gained some of this appreciation because of past losses, or "falls" I have taken, and I am glad that I have been able to gain something from these experiences.

What comes to mind when you read that quote? Another quote? A different interpretation? Feel free to share your own thoughts below in the comments section.

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