I see it written across my mind, the word blazes like fire in the midnight hour: FAILURE.
I know that I am not a failure … I am a person flawed and learning to be better. At the core of myself I do not believe that people are failures only that we are capable of failure and also of success. So my inner thoughts don’t dwell on failure as an identity.
But I am haunted…haunted by the mistakes I’ve made. Haunted by the things I said in haste,sadness, anger..the things I should not have said and the things I should have. The kind word unspoken, the love not shown, the gratitude kept inside.
Haunted by the times I tried too hard…or not hard enough. A word spoken out of place and the one spoken too precisely. Haunted by the times I tried to be too perfect…the times I let myself be too imperfect. Haunted by the passion I didn’t tame when I should have….and by the passion caged when it should not have been. Haunted by how much I wanted to do…to be and how far from it I am. Every misstep is a ghost that follows me.
Why does anxiety have power to plague a confident person. Why aren’t simple answers enough to calm my racing heart.
Because in the still darkness when there is no distraction, no goal to chase…I sit with my tormentor…alone haunted by a legion of thoughts and sometimes no thoughts at all.
Why does this concern you, why am I telling you a fellow traveler in this journey. It’s not just to vent.
It’s because I know I’m not the only one. It’s because many of us run from our “ghosts” and so they control us.
Anxiety is very real and is only one of many problems caused by the things that haunt us.
I face my inner problems so I can learn to master them. So I can work with myself and not against myself. In very real terms I believe that the things that plague us do so for a reason. My life in the short term may be easier if I numbed them or found a way to hide away, but life has taught me that in the end this only causes larger problems. Hiding will not bring peace.
I am not perfect, none of us are. But my life has lessons to teach me and although it is not pretty they must be learned if I am to be my most authentic self.
Unless I face my tormentor there will be no rest. I must make peace with my oppressor to find peace myself. Why you ask: because the tormentor is me and only when I’ve answered my own voice will there be lasting peace and true power.
Do not run from yourself…listen to what your life is telling you. Learn to hear your voice and find balance within yourself.
Don’t hide. If you must remember your failures and your dark days, then also remember your success and your bright days. Events happen but whether they are beautiful or ugly is determined by how we remember them.
Could I have done a thousand things better in my life…perhaps…but the only reason I know that is because I didn’t do them better. So without mistakes there are lessons I could have never learned, without failure I would never have known determination.
Every so often I remind myself that unlimited potential to fall short means an unlimited potential for growth. If there is no limit to the depth then there is also no limit to the height.
Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.