Monday, August 13, 2018


Every aspect of your adult, calming, rational self talk comes back to every aspect of your relationship with the core of the truth of forgiveness. I know that was a lot of adjectives around the nouns in that sentence but that is because it is a core truth. 

Many failures must be met with nigh-immediate forgiveness which enables growth and learning. These failures can be internal and external - whether you are the victim or the perpetrator

"Nigh-immediate" is key as one can become caught in a spiral of too-quick-to-learn-from forgiveness cycles and continue with increasingly risk-seeking behaviors until luck runs outIn the learning phase of "failure" precautions and safety measures need to be explored

In terms of failure, pain of some nature must befall the perpetrator. This failure pain can be physchological, cultural, political, monetary, physical, etc. Pain must be internalized, accepted, and incorporated into oneself to enable learning. But, on the other hand if the failure-pain goes unrecognized or the blame is wrongly assigned or rationalized then forgiveness may not occur. Failure would've been ignored, discounted, or excused.

If self-forgiveness is too quickly snapped to, learning can't occur. This is a major differentiating factor between learning from internal failures and trusting others with their external failures: 
Internal failures must be eventually forgiven and it is only the self-actualized self that can grant it. External failures must be forgiven because we don't often have direct control. One must trust also that the perpetrator can forgive themselves, learn, and not repeat their failure or at least reduce collateral damage

Self-awareness is key. A failure where you are both the perpetrator and the sole victim should be easiest to address. But maybe that makes it the hardest because failures like this are most easily hidden and repeated. Failure-pain can't be realized if no one internal or external notices and brings it to light. 

External failures, while not often under our control, give us a chance to exercise our empathy muscles, understand external core motives, and forgive. External failures we experience collateral damage from repeatedly eventually move from the position of "out of our control" to "within our control" as we begin to subject ourselves to them if they are repeated externally but we have remained within the external-failure's "blast-radius". Realizing this one may enter fight-or-flight by either addressing the external failure source face to face in the light of truth - or increase distance between that source. 

One way to fail better is to first try to reduce collateral damage. Damage that is caused by your personal-internal failures should not unfairly cause physchological, cultural, political, monetary, or physical pain to another. If it is recognized, it should be low-hanging fruit for self-improvement. As one reduces this external collateral damage and exercises that muscle, one can eventually expect to lower the internal pain as well. 

For what is the external but another's internal? You're closer than you think. 

Remember, failure and success are rarely binary - it is a sliding scale. Repeating failures, learning from them, and trying your best again is the natural order. Exercise constraint with moderate success and hubris for moderate failure. 

When results are clearly binary
Or recognize rock-bottom!
You'll be okay either way.

Here's some quotes to inspire you (which helped inspire this piece)...

Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger toward others to eat away at us. Although burying the hatchet usually brings peace to the soul, there may be some exceptions to that advice, such as a case of sexual abuse. Sometimes a victim becomes more empowered when given permission to not forgive.Self-forgiveness is often the first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself, and therefore with others.

In the end, your effort is the only thing that's completely within your control. The effort, not the result... is what makes success or failure. If you get to the end of an instance and you have tried your unreserved very best you have been successful.