Lessons on Failure

There are many things in life that will make you afraid.  Some will even keep you awake at night.

I do not  mean “The Boogey Man is hiding in the closet/I’ve had a bad dream/I don’t like heights” kind of fear.  No, I am speaking of the “self-doubt/risk averse/I’m not good enough” kind of fear that haunts us all.

To learn how to live with fear such as these is to lead a life of courage. And it isn’t always easy.

Here are some lessons on how to live with fear that I want my children to remember:

1. You will fail

failedYou are a child of the Most High, my own little piece of Cosmic Stardust, capable of moving mountains and lighting up the Universe with all that you have the potential to achieve.  But there will be a time in your life when you will fail.

Epically.  And it will hurt something fierce.

It may come about through no fault of your own.  Someone or something will disappoint you, turn away and reject you.  Or  maybe the cause of your failure will have been within your control. Maybe you got lazy, your mindset was all wrong, you didn’t really want it anyway, your chakras were weak or the stars were improperly aligned. Maybe the timing was off or it just wasn’t meant to be.

Whatever the cause, you must do three things. First, mourn what might have been.  Then – and this is important – forgive yourself, the other person, and God, and move on.  Do not be anchored by the weight of regret.  Set yourself free to discover what new opportunities may arise.

And third, learn the lesson.  Failure can be a harsh teacher, but she is fair.  She won’t ask you to repeat what you already know. On the other hand, she will give you a retest until you get a passing grade.

2. You will fall down

All of us stumble.  All of us fall.  Even those of us with the best laid plans and the mary deckermost detailed preparations will find ourselves nose down in the dirt a time or two.  Do not think that you will be any different.

But you do not have to be ashamed when your plans do not pan out.  The measure of a man – or a woman – is not that she falls, but rather in the manner of how she rises from the ashes.

Do not be one of those people who blames another, casts about for a scapegoat, or sticks your foot out to trip the next person so that you don’t look so silly down there by yourself.  If you look around you will see we all have skid marks on our knees and dusty butts from falling squarely on them and we managed to get there quite easily on our own.

Learn to fall gracefully.  It sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but trust me when I say it can be done.

Hold yourself accountable for your missteps then dust yourself off and keep going.  The road is long and you have many more miles to go before you are done.

3.  One day, you really won’t be good enough


Someone else will be better.  You will try your best and your best won’t be good kwon_lapinskienough. Things just will not work out the way you want regardless of how many hours you spend in prayer or at at the gym.

And that’s ok. It is a fact of life, despite my insistence to the contrary, that you are are not perfect and you cannot have everything you want, even – occasionally – when you work really hard to get it.

But here’s the thing: disappointment can lead to something wonderful.  We can never see what twists and turns lay ahead, or how the Universe will use our disappointments for It’s purposes.  Because you failed at something, a new path will unfold leading you to something more incredible than you can possibly imagine.

Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t ever lose faith.

4. Don’t be afraid to fly

Mary_Poppins13Despite all of the things that will not go right and blow up in your face, you will have a wonderful and amazing life. You will encounter challenges you never imagined, accomplish things you never dreamed possible, and meet people who will change the way you see yourself and the world. 

Do not be afraid of it – any of it!  Reach for it and don’t let fear hold you back! Yes, it can be hard, but a great life is rarely characterized by playing it safe. When we dare greatly – in what we do and how we love, the possibilities are limitless.

It will not be anything like you can imagine, but it will be glorious and messy and  fearfully, wonderfully full.  There will be moments of pure joy, others of sublime peace, and those filled with darkness and despair. Of this, you can be sure.

It will be perfectly imperfect in every way imaginable. Just like you.

In my eyes, you are practically perfect in every way.  I do not need you to be anything other than exactly who you are. Do not ever doubt it.

And if you fail, if you fall, and if you do not measure up, remember only this:

You are my little piece of Cosmic Dust, and to me you will always be shining.

Would you add anything else?  Do you think it is possible to learn how to live with fear?

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Published by

Katey Carston

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer, reader, doula, Reiki healer, home food fan, Aspergirl, fresh air fiend, lipstick wearer, football fanatic, religious leftie, Wayseeker, Lover of Life, Daughter of the Universe.

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