Friday, November 10, 2006

Releasing blocks to creativity - 2

Conversations with Failure - Part 2

I couldn’t believe I was conversing with failure in this extra-ordinary way. (Check my previous blog for Part 1) And I couldn’t believe that failure had truly given me a gift! I felt like I had lived with chains around me all my life, only I hadn’t known they were chains, until they had been broken open. The sound of them breaking was terrible, and yet I suddenly felt like a burden was lifted…

And what’s more, this was not the only surprise. Here is another snippet of my dialogue with failure:

Failure: So how are you feeling about me today?
Me: Reflective
F: You sound less scared, - a bit more open
Me: Yeah.
F: Great! So will you walk out into the open with me now?
Me: You mean I would walk out with you, and people would see you by my side?
F: Yes, exactly.
Me: So people would see and know that I walk with failure. Which means that they would see me as a failure…. Well, that would be really tough for me. I mean, I have always been seen as a success, and I am used to that, you know.
F: So in your view one is either a success or a failure and you are a success.
Me: Yeah. – Well, I see that it’s not so black and white as that. I mean, one has failures on the way to success. But you don’t wear them on your sleeve for everyone to see.
F: Ah, so you fail privately but you succeed publicly.
Me: Yeah, kind of.
F: Like Halloween.
Me: Huh?
F: You know - wearing a mask. Doesn’t it suffocate you after a while? - To be someone other than yourself, in public, all the time?
Me: I don’t wear a mask all the time.
F: No, I don’t imagine you hide the good stuff, just the bad. Right?
Me: Oh, ok. Yes I do, and as far as I know everyone else does so too. I mean that’s how we operate as a society, you know. We all wear masks, and the more we wear them, the more we need to wear them.
F: Great, - that’s a great realization! Now, have you ever taken off the mask with anyone?
Me: Oh, of course. I have family and friends with whom I can be myself.
F: And you can relax with them?
Me: Yeah.
F: And at all other times you are tense inside. How you limit your life! Can you imagine even for a minute how it might be if you never wore the mask again? Imagine walking out just as you are, every remaining day of your life. What does it feel like?
Me: (after a long teary pause) Very scary…. Immensely relieving. Free. Truly secure.
F: I rest my case for now.
Me: So what do I do?
F: Nothing, for now. Just let this sink in.

What would you have said to Failure in my place? Use my conversation to imagine yours. Then, just let it sink in. Until next time and Part 3.


Copyright 2006 Ameeta Kaul


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