I’ll write about the emotional home tomorrow. Today was a bit of a failure. Yet still there were successes to celebrate. As I walked along the river today, I dropped down into a brutally depressed state. I was reminded that the meaning we attach to events is what makes or breaks us. There I was walking along with cold air on my face, a beautiful sky, and the river sparkling with light as birds touched down with a rush of water, and I was profoundly sad. There was only one thing making me sad, my mind, and its habitual patterns.
I think it’s interesting how intensely my mind wants to hold onto pain, resisting my efforts to focus on more positive things. There seems to be some level of obsession or security in it, as though, if I can keep everything negative right in front of me, nothing will jump me from behind. Yet, in keeping everything negative in my life right in front, I’m suffocating in the negativity.
The triumph of today, because I failed at most of my tasks, was to see what was going on in my mind during that moment when I dropped down so low, and instead of getting mired in the depression for the day, I just let it be for a minute and then went back through the basic things in my life I’m grateful for. As I stated in a previous post, we can only think on one thing at a time, so when we think on basic gratitude, such as being grateful for clean water, clothes, my son’s health, those things that seem so wrong with our lives pale in comparison.
So the core of failure is to look at it as a learning point. If we learn from a failure, it isn’t a failure at all, but a rung in the ladder leading upward. We couldn’t have gotten further without it there. This allows us to, instead of shaming ourselves for failing, which shuts us down, preventing us from taking up valuable lessons, move on. This is a terrible cycle as very little success can come without failure, and the cycle is try, fail, learn, try again. When we shame ourselves for failing, we cut out the last two cycles. We shut down emotionally, which prevents learning, and surely to avoid the massive pain of failing we do not try again.
In that way, one core of success is to understand that failure is a wildly valuable gift. Now my failure yesterday… I drank two Monster energy drinks while driving home from Oregon. I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway. Then… no sleep until 8 AM. So a new rule, my sleep is critical, so no more caffeinated beverages. That might seem extreme, but how does an energy drink fit into my goals? It doesn’t. I let it go. Now to sleep…