Today, I find myself wondering… how did Humpty Dumpty get up on that wall anyway? What made him think he should sit on top of a wall? Didn’t he know wall sitting wasn’t a good idea? Random, I know, but hear me out… Humpty got this idea from somewhere, but where?
Nobody gets to choose their parents or their childhood. I have the special blessing to have been adopted into a great family as an infant. I have the special blessing to have had a birth mother who gave me up for adoption so I could have my family. Mom and Dad gave me nonmaterial gifts that usually only parents can give a child.
While I was attending community college, a good friend and roommate of mine robbed a bank one day. He was a practical thinker and smart. The next day we found out what he had done when my other room mates and I were home and the County Sheriff knocked on our door with a search warrant. The Sheriff went directly up the stairs to my friend’s bedroom closet and started pulling out bags of money. We were blown away. My (bank robber) friend had graduated from vocational school and he had his dream job. He had a great girlfriend and a Super Sport Chevy (very important to 19 year old gearheads!…) He was proud of his accomplishments. He never could explain to us why he did it. I’m not sure he knew.
Have you been around someone who seemed to fall apart just when things were looking up? What is it about success that psyches some people out? I am sure you’ve seen this before. Kids, friends, co-workers who fall off the wall like Humpty Dumpty. Just when they start to turn over a new leaf- just when they start to hit their stride-they fall to pieces!
I can’t say there is anything more frustrating than to watch someone sabotage their success. It is tragic. Heartbreaking.
But why? Why start drinking again? Why start cutting again? Why drop out a week before graduation? Why quit going to that dream job? Why?
Through the years in the helping profession I have seen this often. If we pay attention and are honest, all us have these thoughts at times. You see, sometimes success brings with it pressures that feel worse than failure. Failure feels comfortable if you’ve never thought of yourself successful. Failure has its own rewards if the tapes that play inside your head tell you your real identity is not deserving.
Remember the nursery rhyme? It says that all the king’s horses and men couldn’t put Humpty together again, and I say the pieces shouldn’t be put together – at least not like they were before. If Humpty went back to being just like he was before- thinking just like he did before- what are the chances that he would go right back to the scene of his fall? When we fall we need to do some changing or falling will just become normal. Humpty Dumpty has some work to do and when he does the needed work- well, wall sitting might be a thing of the past!
Some days fleeting thoughts enter my mind.
“That’s good enough…”
“If I do it too well, they will expect me to do it just as well the next time!”
“I don’t need to contribute this time…”
“I’ve carried this group for months- I’m gonna sit back and let them do all the work this time!”
These thoughts are hazardous, they threaten my identity and my future. Then, quietly, the tapes placed in my head by my parents, my mentors, my friends, they begin to tell me my identity is more. My tapes remind me I have promise, value, and I am loved. My tapes tell me how to base my worth and to do my best.
So thanks Mom and Dad for the tapes you recorded within me: I am specially made by God. Thank you to my wife and friends who have continued to reinforce those positive tapes that tell me I am worthy, valuable.