What do I love so much that if I failed, I would do it anyway?
It’s a question that has been following me around lately. It’s become helpful in all sorts of unexpected and compelling ways. It has taken mental and soul weights off of me, if you want to know the truth.
You see the question used to be “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?”
The answer was always the same: I would live authentically. I would love myself and others well. I would make things and share with others. I would pursue a life well lived.
But I found that question seemed to have the opposite effect on me.
Instead of taking weights off and finding freedom to pursue a good life, I felt elevated pressure and anxiety. The question was unrealistic, because failure is always part the picture of being human. It is unavoidable. So the question of ‘not failing’ never gave me peace of mind.
“I should not be worried about failing.” I’d say to myself in quiet moments. Then worry that I was not living up to being a loving wife, or mother, or artist. That I was not being authentic enough.
Recently I’ve begun to ask myself a new question:
What do I love so much that if I failed I would continue on? What is so important that failure, when it happens, loses its power?
When I started asking this question, immediately, my heart got lighter. I felt a new shift in perspective. It was as if I had been walking around with large weights tied to my feet, and I was able to take them off.
Because failure is part of living fully. Living fully is what I wanted all along.
In spite of the certainty of failure, imperfection and life’s inevitable setbacks, I continue on with resolve and resilience. My heart knows heaviness, but it also knows lightness…and lightness is winning.