Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Releasing blocks to creativity

Conversations with failure - Part 1

Have you experienced failure? Of course you have. Everyone has, at some point in life. Right? - Wrong! Many people run from failure. So even when it knocks on their door, they barricade its entrance. Then it pushes through, but they escape through a side-door, and run. So my question again, is, have you experienced failure?

I have. Unwillingly. – Because it thrust itself upon me. I resisted it and fought it and kicked at it, but it pushed its way into my awareness. And there it stayed till I learned to live with it. You can run, it said, ruthlessly, but you can’t hide.

Imagine an unwanted guest in your house, - a guest that you simply cannot force out. At first I pretended it didn’t exist, then I ignored it, then I hated it and then, after a long time, I tolerated it. Somewhere along the way I began dialoguing with it. Surprisingly it had a lot to tell me about myself. And this I found interesting. Here is one snippet of our conversation.

Failure: I have been trying to meet you for so long. But you keep running. Why?
Me: I don’t want to meet you.
F: Yeah that’s obvious. I’m asking why?
Me: You suck! I don’t enjoy your company.
F: What are you afraid of? Now don’t say you’re not afraid. Only fear has the power to make you avoid me with so much energy!
Me: Ok. I am afraid. To be seen with you. You embarrass me. You don’t do me any good. You make me feel small.
F: Is it so bad if you feel small sometimes?
Me: Yeah.
F: Why?
Me: Well, because people will assume that is me all the time. And I’m not, you know. I am successful by any societal standard.
F: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah
F: Then why do you fear failing sometimes? Everyone must fail sometime you know. Nobody can avoid me indefinitely. And even though people sometimes ignore me, I am at their door, and won’t leave them till they let me in. Kind of like what I did to you.
Me: Yeah like I need you to remind me.
F: Well the point is everybody fails. And when you acknowledge me and meet me, I give you a gift.
Me: Oh yeah! So what’s my gift?
F: For starters, you can let up a bit you know. I mean your perfect score is ruined, so there’s less pressure to keep up the image, don’t you think? There is no such reality as constant, unwavering success. It is an image. Can you see that?
Me: (after a long pause) I guess so.
F: Isn’t that a relief to accept?
Me: Maybe.
F: If I hadn’t forced my way in, you would have resisted me forever, and remained in fear and bondage. How many things have you not attempted for fear of failing?
Me: A few.
F: Well, can you imagine doing one of those things now? If you fail at it, it wouldn’t be the first time, any more. You’ve already gotten over that hurdle.
Me: You are brutal.
F: I am teaching you the only way you will learn. By living it. Success doesn’t mean avoiding failure. Success means meeting and going beyond failure. I am inviting you to overtake me. I am helping you to see the truth. Is that so brutal?
Me: (after pause) Maybe not, but I’ll have to think about it.
F: Oh take your time. I'll stay as long as you need me to.

Stay tuned for Conversations with Failure - Part 2.....


Copyright 2006 Ameeta Kaul


Post a Comment

<< Home