Friday, January 17, 2014

There Is No Such Thing As Failure

This morning when I woke up, I could see something I had not seen clearly before. It's this.

There is no such thing as failure. There is only giving up or not giving up.

But no matter what, there is always learning. And growth. There isn't any such thing as not learning.

There is such a thing as not believing, but that is only a longer path to learning. 

There are mistakes and sins, but they are not failures—not entirely. They are learning experiences locked in by trauma. We try to avoid them, but they haunt our days like sad memories.

So I tell myself: Press on. Learn from this. Forgive yourself. Don't give up. Today is a new opportunity to learn.

I am a big fan of failure. Failure is a good friend of mine. A familiar friend. All my successes are built on the rubble of failure. There is no other foundation for success. It's okay.

We are afraid of failure because we are afraid of shame and embarrassment. But most shame and embarrassment, in my experience, is deception. Some of it is a protection, but most of it is a lie.

When I forgive myself, it reconstitutes what looks like failure into a step up. An opportunity. A blessing.

I will fail today with a smile on my face. And a sense of humor. And a sense of hope.


  1. Thanks for this post. It was a tender mercy for me tonight -- a second witness to what I'd been feeling reminded of lately.

  2. Thank you, cadams, and you are welcome, Michelle. Sometimes I feel strongly that I should write about a certain topic, and it makes me happy to know when readers like those topics!