Failure. It hurts. It truly does. There’s nothing pretty about falling on your face. It doesn’t seem heroic in any way. It just hurts.
I’m in the midst of dusting myself off after a pretty nasty fall. Needless to say, it’s not my first fall and I hesitate to say that it’s definitely not the last either.
It takes a leap of faith to put yourself out there and to present yourself to the world on a platter. One of the scariest phrases I’ve ever spoken is, “I think ______ is a good idea”. I somehow mustered up the strength to put an idea out to the world and jump head in to the water. The water had a different idea though and spit me back out. Not only did it spit me back out, but the whip of pride and ego made sure to slap me a couple times on my way out. All that is left is the nasty whispers of laughter that remind my soul of my failures.
It’s a horrible feeling and runs rampant in so many lives in so many different ways. For some of us it taints our business record, while for others it’s a divorce paper and many other less than desirable circumstances. There’s nowhere to call for rescue. It’s just you and your failure.
It leads you to a crossroad. One path leads to a safer place that can protect and guard your heart from such torture and humiliation. This pathway demands that you abandon dreams, ignore standards and hide in the safety and security of ignoring dreams. The cost is always your heart though. A pathway of safety doesn’t build character in your heart; it just seems to keep it safe.
The other pathway looks like owning your failure. Looking the people in the face that know you’ve just fallen and with a brave face, you own it. You own the fact that you’re not perfect and that you’re vulnerable to rejection and betrayal as much as the next brave soul putting themselves out there. You stare your failure in the face and dig deep. Somewhere deep down in your humiliation you find a small sliver of hope that says to keep going and to focus on just one step at a time. You’re reminded that anyone that has accomplished anything great, has learned how to overcome failure. Anyone of great character can show you the scars from the many falls through their journey. Success, I believe is truly a path of humbleness.
At some point though, as you dust your knees off (and for me it’s tightening up my pony tail), you realize how much greater of a person you have become. You realize that you are no longer the same person that you once were. The reassurance of not making the same mistake twice, quadruples the amount of courage you had before and you become grateful for the failure and even for the people that trip you up. The same people that want to hurt you become (in a way) some of the most influential people in your life. Forgiveness becomes the only thought of them.
My faith takes hold of me in my time of failure. It’s in these times that I know I have a solid Rock that I stand on. Through my humiliation, my heart is open more than any other time for the love and comfort that surpasses no other. I acknowledge that living a life of following such a loving example is going to be hard, but through Him I can stand.
Which pathway do you choose? Which pathway do I choose? It’s up to us. We are never promised that it will be easy, but with a little bit of humbleness, honesty and reflection you take the next step. You find a couple of people that keep you on your path and remind you of your “why”. They dust you off from your fall, point you back in the right direction and you find the courage to keep going.
Your fall becomes a huge piece of your story and without it you wouldn’t be half the person you are. Now, that is a V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!