Three words with huge implications.
Failure doesn’t have to send us backwards but can move us forward.
Seth Godin’s encouragement to fail and fail and fail again has stuck with me since first reading it:
What have I learnt?
What do I see that I couldn’t see before?
What won’t I do again?
How can I try this again but smarter?
How can I now live, do, be better as a result of this?
When we fail forward, we’re able to attempt things we previously thought impossible because we dismissed them too soon: “We thought we’d fail so we didn’t try.”
We try, we fail, we learn, we take a step forward. We’re on a journey from the visible to the invisible.
In the movie The Magic of Belle Isle, there’s a great line delivered by Morgan Freeman’s character Monte Wildhorn to nine year old Fin:
‘Never stop looking for what’s not there.’
Richard Rohr adds, ‘Matter is, and always has been, a hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew.’*
A word on the fear part of this post’s title.
Fear is important but often goes unquestioned. Like The Wizard of Oz scene in which the Mighty Oz is revealed for who he is- “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” – it’s a feeling which must be questioned to really hear what it’s saying to us. When we do pay attention fear becomes a message and not a feeling.
Often what it’s saying is something about ourselves. And the great things is, every day the universe provides us with an opportunity to change: fail, learn, try again.
(*From Richard Rohr’s Eager to Love.)