Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Failures or Cowards?

What is a failure really?  Does not being able to complete a task that we dare to accomplish translate as a failure?  When a relationship breaks down and we separate is that also a failure? 

I have my different definition for failure, or else I still have yet to find the correct correlating word. Failure to me is simply being too afraid to try. Allowing an opportunity to pass, that’s failure. Having tried something and it fall apart or tear to pieces isn’t failure - that’s understanding and discovering how something doesn’t work.

When it comes to relationships I watch so many people build emotional walls because they’re afraid of failure. Having had a relationship that didn’t work, they believe themselves proverbial failures. But they’re not. They’re simply cowards. I don’t want to be a coward.

I know this fear because I face it every day. I don’t want to build the same walls. I do want to protect myself from the pain that comes from a broken relationship, but not at the cost of isolation.  I want to run. I want to hide. I want to believe I’m better off not loving in the first place than taking the risk of loving again and getting hurt even more than I am now. That’s the easy thing. It’s not what winners do, it’s what failures do.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve never failed. I’ve had things fall apart, situations cost me everything, relationships tear me to pieces, but I’ve always tried – again and again and again and again until I discover what works. I face things that scare me. I risk everything for my dreams. I don’t just talk about doing things… I do them. I may complain and whine and cry and pitch a fit in the middle of my fear, but I still jump, I still leap, and I still take the gamble. I may not be showered in riches or exude what the world defines as success, but I’m a winner because I have the courage to try – again and again and again.

E.E. Cummings says, “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”

John Wooden says, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.”

Mark Twain says, “With courage, you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be passionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.”

Albert Einstein says, “You never fail until you stop trying.”

Cormac McCarthy says, “Long before the morning, I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I’d always known, that all courage was a thing of constancy. That it is always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals comes easy.”

This quote moves me most, because I’ve seen it in action too many times. We often think our betrayals are of the other person, but what we don’t often realize is that we’ve first betrayed ourselves. The secrets, the lies, the guilt, the shame, it all comes after we’ve betrayed ourselves.  This is what I fear most, that I will betray ME, that I will let ME down, that I will fail ME, that I will allow a coward to come into my life and drag me down into failure. It is for this purpose I continue to try and have become particular who I allow into my life - because I deserve the best, I deserve success, I deserve love, and I deserve happiness. I deserve to be with a winner. As long as I keep seeking these things and never stop, I’m not a failure. Finding or not finding isn’t the prize, the measure of success, or where living is done – but life, character, courage and success are found in the process.

I’m not a coward; therefore I am not a failure.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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