Picture is Bali Temple-2019
This is a direct link to Buzzsprout. http://www.buzzsprout.com/306041
Failure is an interesting thing. It can take us to dark places in our spirit. It can makes us question ourselves and others. There are people that lose their faith because of failure. If you are fortunate and you come out of the other end you will gain perspective. Perspective is one of those interesting words that is hard to define but you will know when you have perspective. You will be able to see the picture with clarity and without blame. Perspective leads to wisdom. This is the gift that is given you when you complete the process.
Let there be no mistake failure "sucks". But it is also life's pruning of our spirits and a reminder that life is a fluid process. It is not stagnate. As soon as we begin to believe that this is where we will be we stumble. Do not think that you are showing your strength by staying on the ground. You are just showing your pride. Pride will get you stuck. You will mke decisions that may make your journey harder, and you may find yourself alone. Do not be afraid to reach out to someone you trust. You may need a port in the storm to weather your pain.
I have told my clients that no one succeeds alone and no one fails alone. There was always someone or something that helped you get to where you find yourself in the moment of time. I often see people when they believe they have failed. Failure is just part of the path to wisdom. Someone once told me that I was wise. I said well yeah...... I have had enough pain. I should be getting something out of all that grief.
There is a story about two brothers one was pessimist and one was an optimist. It was Christmas and the pessimist went into a room and it was piled high with gifts. The first reaction was doubt and suspicion and he did not believe that the gifts were his. The second brother went into the room and it was filled with manure. He bounced into the room and was stomping around. They asked him why was he so happy. He responded, There has to be a pony in here because there is so much shit.
Sometimes failure feels like shit. Sometimes we don't trust our gifts. I offer a challenge to allow yourself to be open to the experience of learning mostly about yourself. To allow yourself to see yourself in a river that flows sometimes it is gentle and sometimes it is turbulent. Sometimes it is outright scary. I challenge you to trust yourself, your spirit and your heart and ride the flow and you will find perspective.
When you get perspective you will understand why it was necessary to fail. You will understand that the answer is always close at hand even if it is an answer that we do not want to hear or believe.
Be gentle with yourself when you have failed. Do not beat yourself up because life is just giving you an opportunity to grow deeper roots so that you can survive the storms. Failure makes us go deep into ourselves. It makes us discover what is really important and why it is important to us. Do not run from failure or believe that it defines you. It only defines the moment in time.
In life there are many moments in time. Each moment can feel like it is permanent but it is not. No matter how much pain, grief and sadness you may have there is also the reverse waiting for you to get up and touch the joy that is also waiting for you.
Be patient with life and most important be patient with yourself and what you thought was a failure was really your undiscovered wisdom.
This post was originally written December 28, 2009.
What was I thinking then.
I was the witness, as a social worker, to the constant struggle to not give in to the "sense" of failure. If you look in the mirror and only see what is wrong with you how do you embrace what is right about you. The struggle of many of the parents was a struggle against themselves and a system they did not understand. The "system" created a perception that if you were in the "system" there was something wrong with you.
As a parent, I know that I made mistakes with my child. I was fortunate that my mistakes did not bring me into a place that from the moment I was seen I was judged harshly. The parents needed to change their behavior but through the lens of failure it is difficult to find the courage to stand.
What do I think now 2019
There are so many cross roads in life. Many of those cross road begin with some type of failure. It is a time that you can do an assessment of what is working or not working in your life. The failures that I have had in my life taught me where I did not need to go. I learned that I was on a road that was causing me pain. Facing what is not working allows you the gift of change. Now for some change is scary. The idea of change is scary and the behavioral reality of what you have to do and how you have to behavioral change seems impossible.
One of my sayings, yes I have many sayings, is can you slam dunk an elephant. Well failure can feel like an elephant has taken over your life. You can look around your life and you can't see any room, time or place to change. I suggest that if you take the elephant apart piece by piece and manage the smaller pieces you can get the elephant out of your life. There are many things that if we were to think of what is required we might not go down that path. Think of going to college, graduate school, or some new challenging training. Now, if I thought about how many papers I would have to write, how many tests I would have to take and how many presentations I might have sat out school. The numbers would have overwhelmed me. Instead it was one test, one paper, one presentation. Taking smaller bites allow you to pick yourself up and keep going.
Sometimes when we fail we think about the time as "wasted time". How can time be "wasted" if it was the time that you needed to see, learn and grow. Growth does not have a predictable trajectory. Some grow when they are young others grow later in life. Is it wasted time? No, I would say it was just the amount of time that you needed.
Think about the last time you thought you failed. How long did it take you to get back up and return to your journey? Remember each of us has our own sense of our world that is not shared by someone. I may not completely understand your individual struggle but I know that humans struggle and it part of the package of growth.
Thank you for listening to Conversation with Katherine and my podcast. Failure. Have a great day and a great conversation in your life about. Failure