If you've ever failed to achieve some goal you've set out to attain, so carefully planned out and brightly shining in your own mind, or have ever been suddenly dismissed by the person or people you’ve put so much effort and consideration into pursuing some path together with (friendly, romantic, business), or have ever been struck with a spontaneous, profound realization of reality you never saw coming, then you must know what it feels like to sink down into the depths of the awkward, uncertain musings of uncertainty and near-overwhelming anxiety. You must know what it's like to feel that sting of skinned knees as the strength of your core falters and the pillars of your emotional foundations collapse to the earth.
But there is hope even here, as you stare at the dirt surrounding you as you reach out to grapple something, anything of substance. The acceptance of personal weaknesses, when coupled with a positive outlook, is such a beautiful combination with so much potential. On one hand, you have the realization of a weakness, a fault and, in turn, the means to do something about it because you have identified its existence. This is the first and foremost step. Then, on the other hand, you have the hope which must exist within you and the goal for what you wanted so desperately to make of it. Our inherent intelligence allows us to establish goals and devise the means to achieve them, and identify with rational cause and effect analysis the source of a shortcoming. Whether or not the most direct blame appears to be within ourselves, our own obvious weaknesses are perhaps the best places of all to begin; this is from where there is not much room but to improve.
When you find yourself down on your battered knees it's that much clearer what needs to be done to stand right back up, now that you do not have that luxury you had taken for granted. The dirt and rubble tearing at exposed skin serves as a powerful demonstration of solidarity in something so persistently unchanging, yourself as a unique individual with a unique mind and unique pursuits despite having fallen due to some circumstance, almost as if the earth itself is saying to you "Get back up. There is only pain and boredom down here where nothing ever really changes on your timescale." You have a mind, and a will, and the recognition of pain and the boundless joy of success, so use that to your advantage. Find it. Something dragged you down, or shoved your over, and something can help to pull you back up. Oftentimes it is entirely within your own mind.
But within the more effective of these reactions is where the beauty lies: hope and determination and perseverance in the face of tragedy, no matter how tragic. And so even the darkest of times, the lowest of lows, the most skinned of knees, have their value if you just open your mind to what they can and should reveal to you, and make that exerted effort to identify and properly deal with.
There is just something about life in the pain of thrashed knees… something so deeply beautiful in its potential, in its revealing of failure upon you, and in the pride and thrill of overcoming it. Don’t ever fall down without gleaning some sense of how to avoid a repeated occurrence.
And then sometimes it isn't even necessarily sadness, or any sort of tragedy, that brings you to your knees… sometimes it is simple awe and admiration, or any sort of overwhelming rush of emotions. Some bit of powerful news might have been delivered unexpectedly, or some intellectual pursuit may have at last been revealed to you in its full implications—perhaps a profound realization, an epiphany so staggering to your understanding of the immensity of the universe around you strikes at your core and your legs surrender their proud stature in submission to the awesome might of the rational world.
I find this simple act so poetic. The beauty of existence and all of its complexities can often be overwhelming. It’s like a bow to the Earth, this primal gesture of submission, to nature itself, like saying “I understand that I am but the tiniest of all things in comparison.” Perhaps this is a subconscious way of dealing with the staggering, overwhelming rush of the intricacies in understanding the world all around you as this sensation brings to you a vision of your true place among all the factors of the Universe through a momentarily amplified sense of scale. As if such an acceptance forces an emotion of such humility that the only thing your body and mind can do to cope with it all is to collapse halfway to the Earth, where your weaknesses are the constructive opposites of your strengths and your mind can recollect itself as it takes it all in.
Once this effect has diminished enough for you to regain your senses, you hopefully have gained some sort of insight into yourself and into the importance of your place, and what led you to this circumstance. You may seem insignificant at times like these, but we (presumably) alone have the capacity to appreciate our existence in this way, and to truly make the best of it. Our potential for thought is limitless, as long as our mindset allows for it. Positivity is sorely underrated when it could be all we need to retain our former glory.
The strongest among us may not wear a crown. Those best suited to rise to a challenge may crumple under the pressure, while those you would never imagine to prove themselves so valiantly may seize the reins and achieve something absolutely, unimaginably incredible. No opportunity, nor any single person, should ever be discounted entirely. The most powerful gains sometimes occur when the stakes are at their most extreme… because there is always hope, no matter where you are or where you've been, no matter what you’ve done and what you intend… unless you yourself abandon it. So when you find yourself overcome with emotion, standing on the brink of a revelation powerful enough to shake you to your core, just let your knees fall to the Earth. Just let it happen. You may not even have the chance to consider this option, consumed in the moment, yet you will walk away in the end with a gain as powerful as you allow it to be.
Even the most capable among us must realize that we are practically powerless on a universal scale, unable to simply will the deepest workings of the universe to our desires. We must adapt to them. We cannot just hold out our hands and summon the cleansing rain we desire… but we can gaze into the horizon as the clouds inexorably roll in and fall to our knees as the refreshing waters inevitably wash over us… and in the brightness of the aftermath we can better ourselves to our wildest imaginations.