Thursday, February 10, 2011

Failing

Failing is uncomfortable, but it is humbling.  Sometimes, you fail on such a massive scale, radically affecting your life and the lives of those closest to you, that there is really nothing you can do about it.  It feels like a form of paralysis.  You can blame other people for their contributions to the overall chaos and destruction, which is undoubtedly true, but the truth inevitably nails you.  Sometimes it hits you squarely between the eyes, knocking you off your feet.  And sometimes it stalks you silently and patiently, through layers of anger and denial and blame-shifting.

When failure involves relationships of any kind, the other humbling thing is the realization that there are other people out there who have not and do not fail in the same ways and with the same things you do.  They have their own flaws, for sure, but they are better than you are in these ways -ways that others may appreciate and be attracted to.  You may experience deep rejection.  And while their rejection of you may be their sin, depending on the case, you know in your heart that the person they replaced you with has strengths that you don't have. 

That is horribly painful.  We can rage against it, hating the other person, burning bitterly within at both of them.  We can rightly point out their flaws and faults.  But at the end of the day, when we truly accept that we aren't "all that" and that someone out there (yes, even more than one) is better than us, it is deeply humbling.  When we realize that there is nothing we can do about it, that we cannot "redeem" ourselves and the situation, it is beyond hard to accept.  There is a sorrow mixed with grief and a somber peace.

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