Failure is A Part of playing The Game.
Motherhood has provided me with many of my most significant life lessons. Watching a baby enter the world and find their way is an awe inspiring experience. From first foods, to first steps all throughout the early years the journey of growth is not smooth. I watched my babies learn to hold food in their mouth managing varring consistencies bit by bit. I love watching them grow. I knew there would be a period of discovery leading into a series of failed attempts that would lead to growth and triumph. I never once felt disappointment as my children fell learning to walk. This was always an anticipated aspect of the journey. I knew they would fall. I was prepared for them to fail. Provision was in place for failure. I had bibs and cloths for first meals. I had cushions and soft mats to brace their fall while they stumbled through their first steps. Helmets and knee pads for tricycles. All measures in place to ease their pain. The pain is a part of the process. I could not take it away. Nor would it be wise for me to rob them of the growth that takes places as we learn how not to do things through failure. I also always accounted for them to get back up. I eagerly anticipated their success. Why did I not allow myself this same grace? Was the same truth applicable in adulthood as childhood? Is failure not an end but rather an expected encounter on the journey to success?
Babies are delicious! Have you ever watched a baby begin to notice their hands? It is glorious. They stare at their hand intently. Eventually that same hand attempts to reach their mouths. It is a most awkward journey. When learning to feed themselves. Food is everywhere except their mouth. We love this scene. We stand by and take complete delight in the display of growth. An honest attempt is applauded and encouraged. Parents stand by cheering as their children first roll and sit up, they move onto crawling and those first wobbly steps are triumphant. I have yet to see a parent stand by as their child falls in an attempt to walk and tell that child to give up on walking. It would be ludicrous. We clap when that child falls. The attempt at walking is the focus. Not the falls. Whenever my children embark on something new I am ready for the learning curve. Cheering them on through the bumps and scrapes and flat out failures. I on the other hand have packed up my dreams over and over again when things went wrong. I have been bitterly disappointed and felt the weights of each individual failure as though heavy boulders were resting on my shoulders. The weight so laborious I could not muster up the strength to attempt to try again. Walking away with the misguided perception that my attempt was futile and ridiculous as a result of my fall. Such insidious destructive thinking is the antithesis of growth.
I am going to honor the lessons my children are teaching me. It is not always about the win. It is not always about the outcome. The journey will come with failures and that is a natural design of the journey. Failure is evidence of growth. Failure is evidence that you are in the game. Failure says you are alive and trying, fully engaging and not defeated. The next time I am wobbly on my feet and I fall on the path to my dreams. I am going to try a different approach. I will applaud my attempts. I will dust myself off and get back on my path on the journey to success. I am anticipating the falls and cumbersome process that is life. To be in the game is to lose some but at least we are in the game. It is possible to win while engaged and playing. It is impossible to win from the sidelines.