It has been developed over many years of my life; from moments of heart break to the laughter-induced stomach aches to the deep, long-day kind of sighs. What I discovered looking back on these moments was how big of a role the floor has played.
When you were in elementary school and had a sleepover with your friends, no matter how many chairs there were, the floor was always the best place to sit and share secrets. Truth or Dare has always been so much more exciting and the secrets have always been so much juicer when sitting in a tight circle on the carpet, heads leaned together whispering so your parents won’t hear you.
Of course, the whispering was always rendered useless when the laughter started. The kind of laughter that makes you gasp for air and hold your stomach like you might burst, that kind of laughter always compels you to vacate your seat and literally roll on the floor. Next time you have a moment like that and you’re sitting anywhere but the floor, maybe because social standards say the floor is not the place for adults to be, I encourage you to notice how your body naturally slumps as if to pull you down, how the gravity seems to be so much heavier when you’re lost in giggles. That annoying habit you have of doubling over every time you laugh? That’s your subconscious asking you why the heck you’re not on the floor.
How about coming home after a long day? I’m talking the nothing-went-right, fought-with-everyone, dropped-food-on-your-shirt kind of day. You walk in the door, drop your bag, immediately pull off your stained top and uncomfortable shoes.. and then? Well, if you’re me, you drop to the floor like the sack of potatoes your waistband feels like you’ve eaten and just lay there, arms and legs sprawled, hating the ceiling. Sometimes a good lay is exactly what you need at the end of the day (congrats on your dirty mind, by the way).
On those frustrating days your arms sag and your head hangs, everything points to the floor and you can’t stand being upright. Once again, the floor exerts its strange power.
There are other moments in our lives where our arms and heads hang.. the moments when our heart leads the way in the great sink to the floor. Breakups, loss, disappointments too great to warrant only a sigh… these moments are the ones that truly break us. You see it all the time in movies and you see it on those rare heart-wrenching occasions in real life: that phone rings, the bad news comes, and your legs give out. You literally cannot keep yourself off of the floor. Even if you’re sitting down at these moments you can’t keep yourself from sliding to the floor.
Your heart just aches so much that it is too heavy to carry. I have had nights when my bed just felt too tall for the sadness in my body. The floor was the only place I could actually get to sleep.
Maybe it’s these moments when we’re too happy, too tired, or too sad to control our bodies that gravity just does it’s job easier than usual, but I’ve always found that the floor was the best place to think, to feel better, to let yourself well-up with happiness, to make big life decisions.
There’s a quote from the beautiful J.K. Rowling when she said, “rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Rock bottom. Maybe the floor is a bit of a literal translation here but when life gets hard sometimes the best thing to do is to get your head out of the clouds, get low, and find some solid ground where you can set your thoughts straight.
That’s my theory of floors; when life gets crazy, good or bad, it’s solid ground that pulls us down so it can hold us up.
Test it next time you’ve had a rough day. Before you grab that glass of wine, get acquainted with your living room carpet and see if it doesn’t hold your body and your spirit up.