I want to know if you can live with failure,
yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the moon,
The author of the Invitation says that real mistakes are genuine errors in judgment, and choices that can seen, with the knowledge of hindsight, not to have been the best. We have all made them. Not the kind of mistakes where we were misinformed or lacking of enough information. The real ones where we screw up, despite our better knowing.
The real work of failures is to not deny them, or insist that there are no mistakes. You may have heard people say that everything happens for a reason, or that good things come from the struggles. I wholeheartedly agree with this…up to a point. I do believe that the Divine works in mysterious ways with a purpose, but I also believe that we are fully responsible for our choices and what we do with what life offers.
We cannot live fully and at the same time avoid mistakes. Sometimes it may seem so much easier to overlook the failures and instead to hide them in some form. Refusing to acknowledge our failures is often an attempt to avoid shame. That awful feeling we might get when we realize that at our core, we have failed and screwed up. Ownership means that we do not blame others for our faults and screw ups. It means that we do not justify them as a result of my upbringing or story. Instead to truly to own them.
The big question related to failure that I ask myself is can I live with my failures and still say “YES” to life, still feel worthy of love all that surrounds me. The answer for me comes from the space of forgiveness. To allow love to move through me.
I know that many times I failed when my kids were little. There we things that I did out of being clueless and then there were things that I did that were just mistakes. I am not going to justify them by saying I was a young mom with three little kids, or that I was overwhelmed, or that my marriage was empty, or that we were poor, or that I was burdened. Instead I am going to love myself enough to say that I screwed up. At times I made choices that failed them, and failed me. But we all overcame them and despite the failures my kids turned out to be amazing people. And I turned out amazing, too. I came out of the failures so willing to say yes to life and to keep forging a path that brings me joy and contentment.