Failure… another beautiful word made by mankind. When we look up this word in the dictionary it gives us the definition: lack of success. What does that mean? Lack of success?
We have a certain idea in our head at the start and when this certain idea doesn’t come to reality we are disappointed in ourselves.
I remember when I was in high school we had art classes. We had to make an animal out of layers of wood. I decided to make an blue elephant and along the process I lost my interest. We worked 6 weeks on this project and every time I came to art class I was more disappointed in myself and in the blue elephant. He didn’t came out as I had imagined in the start. I started to tell myself that I can’t make something as beautiful as my classmates, I started to put less effort in the blue elephant, even though the teacher tried to give me tips and send me in the right direction, I had already given up.
It’s funny (and sad) that this is the way we look at ourselves when things don’t work out as we had planned. If I would have accepted that the idea I had in my head couldn’t be worked out in reality, and would have accepted alternatives, it would still be a great piece of art. Instead I start believing that I failed and so I gave up.
We cannot live fully and avoid mistakes. The example given above is a small example of life. But we can put this small example in a big life context. When our relationship ends, we think we failed. When I left Australia to come back to the Netherlands to work for a couple of months, it felt as a big failure. But mistakes are part of life. We shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed for failure.
Accepting our failings means accepting where we have hurt others, or ourselves. We forgive ourselves and we forgive others.
When I started drawing – again the art 😉 – I was rough on myself, if a line wasn’t straight enough, or thick enough, or whatever enough, I would be a bit disappointed and maybe even start again. This has made a shift. Whenever a line is not correct according to my mind’s idea, I use this line as a new opportunity for creativity to flow naturally. Without the preconception of that something has to be.
As the cliche says: mistakes are only lessons. And mistakes can lead to beautiful new beginnings or bring new idea.
Can you live with your failures and still say YES to life? Can you still feel you deserve and are able to receive the beauty that’s around you?