by Marisol B.

Not long ago, I was about to leave the parking lot of a lovely store. As I entered my vehicle; I witnessed a gentleman walking along the sidewalk almost fall. A sense of embarrassment followed, and I inevitably began to ponder about human shame after a fall.

high heels falling.jpg

I later came across this little video, where models who elegantly walk in high heels, suddenly find themselves out of balance. While some of the falls are actually a bit funny, what caught my attention were the various reactions for each occurrence, and I continued to ponder about our own ability to accept falls and failure gracefully; without allowing our ego to take over.

In the process, we are given the great opportunity to grow in humility and remember our identity and values despite it all.

Shame and embarrassment are very human factors that play between the pressure-filled areas of failure and success. Both of these require a realistic sense of identity and self knowledge, in order to keep us from a distorted self perception.

Interestingly, the research that Brené Brown, Ph.D. has conducted; leads to the differentiation of the two. In fact, she distinguishes shame from instances of guilt, embarrassment, and humiliation. Shame implies I am bad, the others show I did something wrong, someone said/did something wrong, or something wrong happened to me. Shame generates negative self-talk and hides true worth and dignity. It ignores the true root of the circumstance; however painful this may seem at the moment.

We set high standards, which entail risk; one of possibly falling, or losing our firmest step. In the process, we are given the great opportunity to grow in humility and remember our identity and values despite it all. We are given the opportunity to grow taller than the highest stiletto shoes. We gain great stature, reminded by our own humanity.

This evening I witnessed the same exact scene from yet another man; as I was pulling out of a parking lot. As he lost his balance, we made eye contact, and I chose to give him a quick and reassuring smile; one that would swiftly remind him of his humble; yet dignified place within the force of gravity...


"To pay tribute to his late wife, a father and his young daughter posed for a series of photos that reflect on their lives without her." These were the words that preceded beautiful and moving images that left me thinking of the love and beauty that remains when a loved one is deceased.

The images portray a combination of love and suffering; but more importantly, they allow us to remember and understand the importance of being present to each other.

This wife and mother's battle with lung cancer did not leave a void. The pictures might not portray her face any longer, but she is nonetheless present through the love and connection that this father and daughter hold so dearly.

We are called to recognize the presence of love in each other at every moment and stage in life. When my own mother passed in a tragic and sudden accident, I found the words that would allow me to know this lesson deep within my own heart. The words read:

"We don't own our cars, our homes, our loved ones, our bodies, our words, our beliefs. All of these things were loaned to us for a time and all of these things can be changed, lost, taken away. So what we truly own is our presence. We choose whether or not we are present to ourselves, to each other and to God."

How beautiful to learn of such profound love by the gaze of a father and daughter, who are present to each other as the days unfold.§






Picture a beautiful bouquet of flowers brought home from the market, and the moment in which the blooms are assembled in simple vases in order to add a touch of beauty to a breakfast table. Some of the buds have not fully bloomed and are artfully mixed with the ones that have; yet, in the midst of these two, there are tiny little ones that seem far from becoming flowers. They are almost too small to be noticed, but are placed nonetheless within the freshest of water.

Many days later, the little buds begin to grow and show the potential for beautiful blooms to be enjoyed in later days.

This is what happened to me as I arranged beautiful white freesias for a weekend breakfast with friends. I am fascinated by the little buds that seem to grow each day of the week, and it made me think of how many times, we are afraid to pursue noble causes, with the idea that our efforts might be too small; especially when compared to already blooming ones.

No effort is too small, and every big accomplishment starts with small constant actions.

I invite you to give, I invite you to act, to love, and to forge ahead with all noble pursuits; for every one of these; makes the difference, millions of individuals are afraid they won't make.