Failure Is Not Fatal
BY OLUBODE SHAWN BROWN
Too often we continue with a mistake, because we are ashamed, we are afraid to face our fears because we spent a lot of money and time making it, invested heavily emotionally and cannot find a comfortable moment when we can exit painlessly.
I live in New York City. I have lived here for 35 years now. This is a city of aspirants. To this city I brought dreams pieced together from magazine covers and the stories of friends who came back to Jamaica dressed up, full of show and tell. I am not unlike the companions I found here, they too had come from other islands, the motherland, small towns and American cities grown too small for our dreams.
“If you can make it here you can make it anywhere.” This is how the myth is spun. So failing was not an option. To confront failing much less taking responsibility for failing means being a failure.
These days I have come to terms with the fact that while I have had many successes, I have failed at many things. Present with me now is the failure of my only long-term relationship. I failed, and I can take responsibility for it — ALL OF IT.
Taking responsibility does not mean being ignorant to the behaviors of others, playing the blame game, or throwing a pity-party for oneself. It means:
- Seeing where we gave away our power –where we pretended not to know or hid from the facts
- Noticing where we deserted the soulful wisdom of our tribe
- Understanding the ways and wounds that caused us to mask our power
- Noticing where we lost sight of our own essential goodness and the goodness of others
- Where we failed to act compassionately.
Too often we continue with a mistake, because we are ashamed, we are afraid to face our fears (along with the shame and anger with which it they are coupled) because we spent a lot of money and time making it, or invested heavily, emotionally and cannot find a comfortable moment when we can exit a painlessly.
I started with one thing, and then started to look at the entire terrain of my life, and in each place where I could recognize failure, I made a decision to begin again! Today, I encourage you to do the same.
Failure is not fatal.
Admitting it is the prerequisite to grace — to a fresh start and clean slate. To admit failure means we can start again with fresh new insights.
Olubode Shawn Brown is the author of BLOOM – The Essential Journey, A New Guide to Balance Growth & Well Being.