I used to believe that not only was failure not an option (tricky double negative) , but if I did experience it, it represented the end; like falling off the edge of the earth into nothingness. I don’t find that imagery surprising. I really equated failure with a kind of death of myself that I was sure would leave me so bereft I would never really be able to return to the land of the living as I knew it. So, I avoided the edges of of my life, those areas where I would have to potentially experience that challenging darkness, face the vastness of not knowing and, most importantly, reveal myself as myself warts and all!
I found as I began my new life after I returned from Florida, that this attitude toward failure was really holding me back. In fact, I realized that it was not so much my fear of failing that scared me, it was more that I was afraid that I already was a failure and it really wouldn’t take long for everyone else to cotton on to it, and I would be a complete loser and utterly alone.
The funny thing about this awareness is that I had to fail over and over again in all aspects of my life; in the original concept of my yoga business, in how I related to men on dates, in how I handled living alone, in order to really understand it from all angles. I can truly feel in my heart now how ridiculous it was. I accept the emptiness of failure as a really fu*king stupid concept. And, with a great big exhale, I can forgive myself for thinking it, and let it go and move on toward building something much more dynamic, representative of me and capable of meeting my ever expanding needs and desires.
And I find that this method of embracing failure spills over into all avenues of my life now. There are days when my business and the creation of the next level collapses miserably and I find myself having to regroup, pick up the pieces and begin again the following day. I do find that the curvy road of energized expansion, although daunting and sometimes downright scary, has sharpened and strengthened me with each failure that I encounter. I mean, how would I have known that having a yoga studio space was a depleting unoriginal idea unless I had tried it.
And the same is true in my personal life. I hadn’t really dated since the second Reagan Administration and my first forays into the singles pool, at the age of 48, were fraught with the kind of embarassing moments that might make a great blog post on a different day. Nevertheless, I persevered. And with each failure came a lessening of the fear of being a failure and existing alone. There have been a lot of lovely dates that have been experienced since those early dating days, and living alone isn’t as scary as I imagined it would be.
Experiencing failure makes me supple.It forces me with the best of intentions to lean forward toward the light and jump off into a blazing future. I feel the fear and do it anyway because I know that I am here on this earth at this time to do the good work that I am being asked to do so that I can contribute to the ever-expanding energy of the universe. And encompassed within that energy is the love. In fact, I think the energy is love and that is the fundamental and consuming reason I will just keep on keeping on. Great stuff is happening and I have my failures to thank for all of it!