It is so easy to make a list of all the people who fall short of our expectations. It is effortless to count the missteps and the inadequacies of those around us. Humans relish in anger and resentment with one desperate goal, to avoid the mirror of failure.
This week I reflect on the importance of sitting in failure. It is a pain that most of us will go to great lengths to avoid. It tears at the image of who we think we are and who we think we should be. With whispering threats, it taunts us into believing we are not strong enough to overcome adversity. With so much on the line, we go to great lengths to protect ourselves from the intensity of this hurt. What if we took a different approach?
What if we refused to run from it, but rather we sat in its discomfort? What if we allowed ourselves to feel the sting because we know we are strong enough to survive it? What if we allowed it to shape the image we have of ourselves because we have faith in our ability to overcome our struggles?
This week as I reflect on an ending school year. I can be strong enough to say that I made more mistakes than I can count. At one point this week, it actually took the breath away from me as I rifled through one failure after another. I pictured the colleagues I let down, the goals I didn’t achieve, and the growth I didn’t make.
The difference this year is that I choose not to run, but rather to let this pain whirl about me. I choose to be curious about my decisions and reflect on why I hurt. I allow my skin to crawl. I allow my thoughts to circle as I examine why they are so pervasive. I sit in my failure because that discomfort is my motivation to do better. It is the mirror that offers me insight into my heart and my habits.
I could allow my armor to remain up and blame others around me. I can make a list of excuses. I can avoid the discomfort and decide I am a victim of life. I can convince myself that life happens TO me, not FOR me. However, I must tell all of you that victimhood may be a comfortable place to dwell, but it denies you a path forward to growth and self-love.
Accepting my failures is how I show myself love. I love myself enough to know that I am perfectly imperfect. I love myself enough to try again. I love myself enough to know that growth is painful and I am strong enough to endure it.
I fail every day. I fail every hour. I failed even though my heart was in the right place. I failed even though I thought my way was the right way. I fail even though I love. I fail even though I care. Failure does not make me a bad person. I am not weak. I am not inadequate. I am a human that was meant to soar, but also meant to stumble.
Thank your burdens; they offer you a strength for tomorrow you do not have today. Meet your failure head on. You do not need to run or hide. Look at it, feel it, and let it surround you without letting it settle WITHIN you. Trust that as you sit in pain, you are being granted the opportunity to rebuild yourself back better. Like the dawn before the day, sitting in failure is the moment before your greatness comes.