April 6 – Failure

Today’s meditation opens with a beautiful passage from Toni Morrison that perfectly captures what it is to struggle against immovable forces in our effort to reach a goal: “The clouds gathered together, stood still and watched the river scuttle around the forest floor, crash headlong into haunches of hills with no notion of where it was going, until exhausted, ill and grieving, it slowed to a stop just twenty leagues short of the sea.”

top view photo of ocean

On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

My, can that woman write! I read a passage like the one above, and I just want to read it over and over. It is such a beautiful description of how we sometimes bash and batter ourselves in trying to reach a goal and then end up ‘ill and grieving’ and exhausted, not realizing that we are almost there. We, like the river, rush helter-skelter, headlong into the barriers of our being.”

There is a proverb that states, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” It is our ability to get up and try again, our resilience of spirit and our perseverance that makes us a success. Failure is often defined by giving up. When we give up, we admit defeat. We fail to try again, and thus, we close ourselves off to the opportunity to succeed. We may be closer to our goal than we will ever realize, but it doesn’t matter because in our eyes we failed, and in accepting failure, we cease to strive toward our goals. It is a terrible thing to batter and beat ourselves in an effort to reach a goal only to give up feet from the finish line. Some things may not work out for us, and it’s okay to recognize that and move on. But when we truly want something, we should give it our all and see it through. Don’t give up on yourself.  You are stronger than you realize.

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