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When Moving Downward May Be The Only Move Forward

Updated on July 8, 2017
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor, explores attitudes and actions that can help us maintain our mental well-being.

"I've Been to the Mountain Top" by Guojunjun
"I've Been to the Mountain Top" by Guojunjun | Source

The concept that moving upward is moving forward is true; but upward is not the only direction for progress.

The path downward is an inevitable part of life’s journey. What happens when you get to the top of the mountain, but you cannot live there? The path downward will lead you forward to the comforts of home, or to the opportunity to climb another mountain.

It could be detrimental to allow pride, ignorance, fear and other negative emotions to prevent you from stepping down; and consequently, hurt your chances of moving forward.

Here are some scenarios with reference to decisions about moving downward in everyday situations. Read all the scenarios then respond to the poll.

Which three of the scenarios justify stepping down?

See results
  1. Trying to hold on to a stressful job position which is causing you sleepless nights and stomach ulcers;
  2. Sitting on the fence, figuratively, rather than voice an opinion which may cost you some popularity;
  3. Standing firm for justice on behalf of someone who is innocently accused;
  4. Placed on a pedestal by followers who put you there on faulty assumptions.

Except for scenario 3, it may hurt your pride to come down from your pedestal, but coming down offers the freedom to move on.


Coming Down to Go Forward

In this story1, see how coming down was literally, socially and morally the best step forward that the individual ever made.

It is a story about a short man whose vision was blocked by the stature of his peers hovering above him. It was not his fault that he was born short. Poor man! He was rich, but his money could not push him upward to make him as physically tall as he wanted to be.

"Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree" - Painting by James Tissot
"Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree" - Painting by James Tissot | Source

One day, he heard that a new Master Teacher was walking through the streets of his city and he was determined to see Him; but as short as he was, he could not be sure that he would. He came up with a plan. He moved himself upward—up on a tree.

The wise Master Teacher called the short man by name and asked him to come down—down to reality. His pretentious height did not do him any good. He needed to put his feet on the ground and face his deficiency and his hypocrisy.

When the man came down, he got the courage to repent from selfishness, and the wisdom to accept restoration and redemption from the Master Teacher. If coming down made him feel humiliated, that feeling did not last long. The short man moved beyond all negativity—by stepping downward and forward.


(1) Take Control

"Fork in the path-Torrey Abbey Meadows" by Derek Harper
"Fork in the path-Torrey Abbey Meadows" by Derek Harper | Source

First, know yourself. Take responsibility for your life and the direction in which you want it to go. When you come to a crossroad, decide what step best suits your purpose. If it is a downward move, do not hesitate.

  • Why would would listen to other people telling you what move you should make?
  • Whose purpose are you pursuing whether you move upward or downward?

At the end of the journey, your satisfaction will center around moves that you thought you should make, and made despite where the road took you.


(2) Let Common Sense Guide

Dan Quayle, former vice president of the United States told a group of students, “We will move forward, we will move upward, and yes, we will move onward.”2 A little verbose, you think?

He also said, in another speech, “Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."3

The message is that you are never sure what people are talking about. Do not write in stone what people say on a whim. Even weigh your own words. They may be right for one situation, but not for another. Use your common sense to figure out what is your best action at the given time. Only you can decide what moving forward means for you.


(3) Be Open-Minded

Source

Do not allow your mind to be locked in by the negative connotations which other people attach to "down."

  • Down is a direction; the original meaning has no reference to misfortune or failure.

Remember how Bob Barker4, when he hosted (1972-2007) The Price Is Right on television, called for the contestants to “Come on Down?" They happily ran down the aisle, focused on the opportunity to have fun and win prizes, not on the direction of down. The show aired with several different hosts, none of whom had a problem with people responding to "Come on Down."

You may not realize what moving downward will mean for you, before you see the big picture. If down is where Providence seems to be leading you, follow.


(4) Make the Move for You

"Road north and downhill from Hillberry" by Stanley Howe
"Road north and downhill from Hillberry" by Stanley Howe | Source

If you are in your right mind, nobody knows better than you whether moving downward is the best move for you.

You may be in a relationship which seems to pull you upward socially with the promise of an improved lifestyle. Your relatives may be cheering for you and even encouraging you to put up with some minor abuse, rather than come down from your elevated social status. It is up to you to decide whether moving down and out is the next step toward moving forward.

Make the application in whatever situation you find yourself now or in the future. At the end of the day, you will find that your move encourages others to make their move. When you do what is right for you, you empower yourself to help others.

Bear in mind that you move downward in order to move upward again. When you start your new climb, there will be spectators cheering and following, and even if you do not see or hear them, follow your heart.


References

1. Bible Gateway: Luke 19: 1-10, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers (1982)

2. California State University, Sacramento State, The Wit and Wisdom of Dan Quayle (visited 03/31/2014).

3. Ibid.

4. Bio. True Story: Bob Barker Biography, Synopsis, (1996-2013)


© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers

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    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Manatita, so glad you made the time to catch up on my articles. Your comments are very encouraging and they mean much to me. Thank you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Interesting examples and good rationale. I like your passion here.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Nathan, thank you for your kind comments and for affirming the downward move principle. Understanding it has added meaning to my life. Glad to meet someone else who appreciates it.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sujaya, thank you for your cryptic expressions of love and support. I appreciate you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ologsinquito, glad you like the message. Thank you for your support.

    • NathaNater profile image

      NathaNater 3 years ago

      I know from personal experience that what you wrote here is true. There is nothing more refreshing, and challenging, than that move downward; and it is very necessary. Absolutely, a person must follow his or her heart. Understanding that downward move opens up a new world inside and out. Thank you for the excellent and eloquent exposition; very well-put and valuable, absolutely necessary for people to understand this meaningful principle you've illuminated here.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      pepping up do

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      What a nice message this morning. Voted up and shared.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you Al. I commented on your Climbing Mount Successful. Moving forward is on both our radars.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      I wrote something similar called, Climbing Mount Successful, Wow! This was great MsDora!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Denise, hope things are manageable. Thanks for stopping by.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is an important message that I needed to hear at this point in my life! Thanks for giving it!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Rajan. You expressed that very well. I appreciate your input.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Good biblical story to drive home the point that we need to feel happy about ourselves and what we do rather than thinking whether it is a step up or down.

      Inspiring read and a lot to think about.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Martie, I could not have said that any better. Thank you for your sound and graphic input.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting and indisputable perspective, MsDora. Moving forward often means sliding downhill on our bum, and even hitting our head against an obstacle.

      Insightful and inspiring hub, voted up :)

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Crafty, are you sure that your husband and children know how you feel? They may be able to help you move forward. Thank you for sharing.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      MsDora, this hit home personally for me because I've lived in the same place my entire life. But it's not a happy place. I have to make it happy to survive it. I have a loving husband and children, but I so long to get out of town literally. I don't know what holds me back. It's something I've struggled with for years.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, thanks for your input. You encourage me.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      That made me stop and think! I never realized that moving down could actually be moving forward, and I've read the story about Zacchaeus a number of times - never put two and two together. Thanks for the eye-opener. By the way, congratulations of the hub of the day award! Also, I didn't take the pole, because I would choose all 4.

      Well done and voted up.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, I a pprecite your input. Your illustrations re right on. Thank you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This was a great hub, Dora. People take demotions when jobs are too overwhelming for them or their life circumstances demand that they share their focus elsewhere. They also scale back their homes as their kids leave the nest because they don't need the large property any longer. I had a friend who had four large homes. When he retired at 55 he sold all of them and moved into a retirement community. He never felt more liberated in his move downward!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eiddwen, thank you for the read and the vote. Good day to you, too.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant read Dora; so interesting and leaving so much food for thought. Well written and very interesting. Voted up and wishing you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Mona, I appreciate your observations. Thank you very much.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I love how you point out that the direction you move is not so important as the context in which you move, whether it's upward, downward or forward. I also love the biblical grounding that you use to anchor your piece.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Parrster, I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for your input.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 3 years ago from Oz

      Thanks fro this MsDora, living with the expectation that there will be likely as many valleys as peaks will help be better prepared for the descents.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sheila, your illustration is the best of all. We cannot go wrong by following Christ's example. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, thank you very much for your illustration. You followed your heart and moved downward--to your satisfaction. Bless you!

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Great advice! When I think of people stepping down to move forward, I think the perfect example is God himself. He could've came in all his glory, but he decided to come as a humble servant. He gave one thing for the good of everyone else.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      This is so true, in fact its very apt where my husband is concerned, many people told me to leave him because of a gender issue, but I sat and thought, will they look down on me? then I thought, who cares, I want him here with me even though we are now still friends, so yes it was a stepping down, from our circle of friends, from social gatherings etc, but I have earned more by staying with him, nell

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Mts, thank you for your input. I appreciate your feedback. I hope that all my readers understand my message as well as you do.

    • mts1098 profile image

      mts1098 3 years ago from InsideTheManCave

      another awesome piece...i used to think only in terms of only looking forward and up, never back or down - But as you correctly state that a downward move just maybe the correct direction and should not be overlooked...thanks for the reminder not to exclude any direction that keeps us on our path...cheers

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Devika, you're strong and wise woman. You'll make it. Thank you for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, happy that my articles do something positive for you. Thank you for your support.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Yvette, I wish I had included that line in my article. Thank you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hmm a very interesting hub about life I try to go upward and when I am on this god level something happens and it makes me go back downward the obstacles just keep on coming and I keep on fighting to get up back there. I try to follow my heart but that is too far away.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Msdora I enjoy reading your hubs because they settle my mind.. clearity I get from your hubs

    • Purpose Embraced profile image

      Yvette Stupart PhD 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks MsDora. What is important is that whether we are moving up or forward, our movements reflect our beliefs and values.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, thank you for your input. Good advice for me too.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, thank you so much for your support. I appreciate your kind words and your kind heart.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Read and polled! Good advice MsDora. We must all follow our hearts.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      You have provided much food for thought here, and it is truly best to follow our heart in all matters of life, for we know deep down what is best for us, no matter others may think!

      Well done! Up and more, tweeting and pinning

      Have a lovely evening,

      Faith Reaper

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, is the love story for sharing? Well, anyway, thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Missy Dora, I am too busy to read this! Ha ha ha! I am so busy that I must read it. Go ahead and call me Simon Levi. I deserve no less that the tax collector.

      I shall now take a break and write a love story. Thank you for waking me up.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Billy. I appreciate your comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful truths about life, Dora! Following our heart is always a pretty good place to start when choosing our path in life. Well done my friend.