You had your heart set on something. It happened just as you imagined. Then day one, you realize that thing you wanted is no longer there. It’s no longer right. It no longer looks like you imagined early on or felt the way it did initially. What happened? How did this failure happen? How will things go from this point forward?
We’ve all had these types of experiences. If you haven’t, you will. Give it time. For those of us who have had the pleasure of failure, we typically can look back and see that we are in a different space now and we overcame that situation. Now some of you are still stuck on me calling your failure pleasant. Maybe I’m a masochistic. I don’t know, but I am one of those people who appreciate the unpleasant times because they are usually followed by very pleasant ones.
A few years ago, I spoke to a friend who divorced. They tried to describe what they were going through. All they kept clearly repeating was that they felt like a failure. They did not know what to tell their family and friends about the demise of the union. They thought that people would blame them personally or pick sides. At that point, I could only listen because I could not fully relate. However, their words of failure suck deep within.
Years later, I too divorced. My friend’s words rose back up from that tucked away place where I hide all of my friends’ secrets. Failure. The word hit me hard. Would people think I was a failure? Would people look at me as just another hypocrite? Here I was basically preaching happiness by any means, yet I was miserable as Hell, but fronting that all was well and now my unhappiness would be exposed. Failure.
I refused to live the label. I’m not a failure. Although my marriage did not work, it wasn’t a failure. I had to look at it differently. My marriage produced two beautifully, intelligent children. My marriage bridging families from different cultures. My marriage gave lifelong family and friendships to both of us. I chat with one of my ex’s sisters and two of his cousins almost every day like nothing ever happened. If fact, I don’t even think we ever discussed what happened. We talk about men and I can talk about my manfriend to them and they have no issue. That says a lot. A failure would not allow those interactions to occur.
Sometimes we have to look at what we got out of certain situations before they “failed” to see the purpose. SO WHAT if you your business collapsed! You had the courage to build a business while most people are too afraid to attempt their dreams, so they stagnantly sit behind their desk talking about your business. You employed people. You brought goods or services to others. You were valuable to someone. That is not failure.
So WHAT if you can’t find a job in your field of study! You gained knowledge that you did not have before. You met people that you would not have met before. You had experiences beyond sitting on the couch. Acknowledge those good moments in time.
Failure is not failure if something good took place within that experience. Every relationship is not meant to last until eternity. Every job is not meant to be worked 50 years. Life does not come with instructions. We are all operating by trial and error. Find the fun in your dysfunction.