Without failure there would be no success
My early lessons around success and failure were learned from my parents became a lasting legacy. My mother was the main influence. Her ways were harsh, unforgiving. I learned this later in life.
The legacy of her lessons? It stayed around. Sitting in the far corner of my mind, waiting, just waiting for a chance to leap forward and take control. Temporarily.
Mistakes don’t just happen
My mother didn’t believe mistakes just happened. They were always and without question a failing of my intellect or my deliberate choice to make something screw up. Do something right. Naturally, it’s right, and we’ll never mention it again. Mistakes were proof of my defects. Never to be forgotten or forgiven.
Worked rather well for her. She always had something to hammer at. Her children were not perfect. No children are. Just by being human, I kept handing her ammunition she could hold up to prove how defective I was.
For a long time, it worked. I avoided letting her, or anyone, learn of mistakes I made. I also avoided making mistakes by not trying new things that I could screw up. The hiding gave manna to another part of my mother’s desires. She didn’t know of mistakes, thus she could present her kid as perfect to the world.
Learning mistakes are healthy
Her kid learned to keep her mouth shut and not show much of herself. I still do that. Sometimes out of habit. Sometimes with good reason. I’ve learned mistakes are normal, they are healthy. There is no shame in making mistakes or admitting to them. They are part of being human.
How do we learn without making mistakes? Have you ever heard of an invention created without mistakes? I never have. There’s always a trial-and-error process. Without failure, there is no success. There is no Ying without a Yang.
I spent a lot of years in leadership of a volunteer organisation. Over the years, I made mistakes. Who doesn’t?
I often had to hold the legacy part of me back. When I made a mistake, I’d own it. When I succeeded against the legacy, I often heard input that would have helped me avoid the mistake. Didn’t change the mistake, but helped to equip me to avoid the next one.
OH I had haters. Lots of them. Some didn’t like my honest, no nonsense way of doing things. Some didn’t enjoy having a woman in charge. Some just didn’t like me. Too bad. Everyone has detractors. Another part of being human. I focused on the responsibility I’d taken on.
Learning unconditional non-judgement
I have a friend I’ve become very close to. In the early days of our friendship forming he’d often preface difficult conversation with the comment, “without judgement”. I found it puzzling at first. Then I realized he was letting me know anything was open for discussion, he would not judge and was asking the same.
He doesn’t just say the words, he practices them. It’s been a wonderful learning experience for me to be open and honest without fear of judgement. I have times when my faith in the non-judgement clause gets shaken. He firmly reminds me, the non-judgement clause is part of the bedrock the friendship’s built on. Trust ends up parked right alongside, hooked permanently to non-judgement.
It’s a good feeling when it’s present unconditionally.
To error is human
My mother wasn’t alone with her effort at bending reality by expecting perfection of others. I see it all the time in public discourse. Mention something a public figure has done well, others will chime in with their favourite grievances as proof the person’s just bad
Too often I get drawn into the pile-on expecting perfect behaviour. I try to remember to take a breath and remember in most cases; they are not all bad. Some are worse than others. But for better or worse, we’re all human. To error is human.
Shadowspub is a writer from Ontario, Canada. She writes on a variety of subjects as she pursues her passion for learning. She also writes on other platforms.
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Image source: Pixabay