Monday, August 6

The Power of Failure

Failure. It's a word that I am quite familiar with. As much as I want to think I've done wonderful things, I'm still forced to face its shadows every day. Naturally, as human, I fear the moment I lose everything I have, falling back to square one. Failing. I've failed before--a million times--and yet, no matter how bad the situation was, no matter how I thought I'd never succeed again or climb out of the hole I was in, I am still here doing everything I love doing. In retrospect, failing has made me stronger, not just because I learn and move on, but because I know it is an inevitable process, and as part of the natural order of the universe, I am made to be resilient and survive. It's evolution at its best. It's the survival of the fittest. And every time I fall, I learn yet another way to rise, each time higher than the past.

So, if failing is something we can conquer and overcome as humans, why do we fear it so much? Why do we not trust in ourselves that we will succeed? Because we live in a society where every part of us is measured against something else. And because when everyone starts measuring, we tend to look at the differences between us instead of our similarities. Only by identifying ourselves with each other through everything that connects us as humans instead of focusing on everything that divides us can we experience the miracles of life. When we know we are not alone, the journey becomes more palatable, more meaningful, and we become more determined to reach our destination no matter the difficulty. Because there is hope.

I've always hated roller coasters. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of the uncertainty of death. I fear the unexpected. Whenever I stand in front of a roller coaster ride, I tremble; my first reaction is to run no matter what, even if the ride is free and the carriage is made of gold. But when a group of friends who've ridden the ride many times before is there, I feel much better. The fear is still there, but it is not as elevated. Because my friends have been on those rides, and they've all survived, and they are willing to ride with me, to give me the assurance that everything will be fine. Because of that, I am more daring to take the first step. I scream as the roller coaster plummets and rises, but as I turn around to see my friends's faces all alit with the same thrill, I smile. The fact that they are next to me going through everything I am going through makes the ride a magical, unforgettable one.

So, the next time we know of someone who is falling, let us each be that person to reach out and say, "I've been through the same thing. You're not alone in this. I'll show you." We may not all fall together, but we can surely all rise together.

Such is the beauty of life.


Teri Harman said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! I know that experiencing failure makes success a whole lot sweeter.

Christopher Loke said...

Thanks, Teri. Yes, at one point in our lives, we must come to terms with failure. Everyone, high and low, has experienced it. Including me. I hope this article will bring a bit of optimism to our lives knowing that we are not alone.

Liesel K Hill said...

Great post, Chris! Very well-written! :D

Christopher Loke said...

Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Eric Bishop said...

Great post.

Old bruises and fresh scrapes accompany my favorite victories.

Reminds me of a phone call.

After years of writing, rewriting, attending writers conferences, winning awards, pitching to agents and finally hearing you say, "We love The Samaritan's Pistol, and would love to publish it!"

Christopher Loke said...

Very well said. Thank you for reading my post.