People will fail you.
You will fail people.
This is a fact.
Some will do it purposefully. Others will not. But people WILL fail you.
You, too, will fail people. Purposefully? Only you can answer that. But you WILL fail people.
Because we are people, and if we are honest with ourselves, it’s what we do.
And if I am honest with you, it’s what I do, and I sure have a knack for doing it extraordinarily well.
I began this week failing someone in an exemplary fashion. Not “oh, I’m sorry I forgot to pick up milk,” but a fall flat on my face, scrape my chin and bust my nose kind of fail.
Did I do it on purpose? Certainly not. That does not, however, change the fact that I failed her.
Even as I write this and the words I opened with are making perfect sense in my head, I struggle with the admission. I failed her.
To fail someone, I love deeply makes my heart feel like it’s free-falling to earth like a skydiver trying feverishly to open a faulty parachute.
As a result, I have found myself the last couple of days trapped in a mental Sahara. I am wandering about, trudging through the hot sand and shielding my face from a brutal sandstorm. My mouth and lips are cracking from the drought; my soul craves water. I lose my bearings as the clarity of my mind wanes. Any sense of direction is gone as my body temperature rises and my soul yearns for shade. I long for an oasis, a respite from the anguish, a resting place.
My desert wanderings offer an opportunity to spend some time alone and give myself, in my opinion, a much-deserved tongue-lashing. I certainly have a flair for some good old-fashioned self lambasting. I can lay into myself like a prizefighter going for the knockout punch in the first round.
But what good does that do?
Absolutely no good. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Or if you prefer, Diddly-Squat.
The only thing it does is reap dire consequences in sending me back out to face the world, bruised, bloodied, and barely standing with legs like jelly, much like the aforementioned prizefighter on the verge of being out for the count.
Now it’s time for a choice. I can either;
Throw in my towel.
Throw my hat in the ring.
The first doesn’t even bear thinking about, so let’s move on to the second.
I am going to throw my hat in the ring.
So I have failed someone.
Did I do it purposefully? No.
Did I need to trounce around some barren mental wasteland? No.
And did I need to leave myself gasping for breath from the verbal browbeating that I inflicted upon myself? Certainly not.
With God as my Cornerman, I put on my gloves and step into the ring to face my contender, the brawler “Self-Loathing.” Round after round, we bob and weave, inflicting punches and counter punches, shifting from one foot to another as buckets of sweat stream out of every pore until finally, with one solid, well-placed uppercut to the chin, “Self-Loathing” legs buckling, falls hard. Down and out.
I have thrown my hat in the ring by accepting I failed, by recognizing I am not perfect, and by forgiving myself as she has forgiven me. This gives me the victory. We have triumphed.