With Great Failure comes Great Learning

Bansky-Flower-Brick-Thrower.

I am ready to say good-bye to 2014. It has been not as difficult as I think it was but it has been challenging both physically and emotionaly. I have not been able to finish any race healthy. Not one, not even a 5km distance. This frustrates me beyond words and I have learned more about self-love, self-kindness and patience in a single year than I have learned over my lifetime.

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Emotionally it was strange not to have to juggle school and life. But I learned about work and life in ways that I had never experienced before. My new job taught me more about empathy and compassion than one might think…especially since I was a teacher of young children with special needs and circumstances that was unbelievable to most – yet all true. The job I have now is not my ‘dream job’ because I have no idea what that means anymore. I like lots of thing about it, hate lots of things about it, but mostly it keeps me busy, validates that I am great at some things and not so great at others and work for a gentleman who in all respects has taught me more about empathy, compassion and self then any other human I have worked for.

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I have worked for some people who were just mean, some who worried endlessly over what others thought of them, they failed to do the right thing, some who were ambivalent and some whose values clashed with mine so severely…I had to leave.

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Values are important to me. I have learned that compromising values means compromising self. I am worth too much to compromise self. I no longer struggle with what others think or assume. I could honestly care less – unless that person is someone I value. Then I step back and examine my actions.

I failed at that this year.

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I stumbled upon the artwork of Banksy today and his urban art made me really think about my humanity in ways I haven’t explored before. I discovered that I’d rather be the kind human rather than the judgmental busybody. Flipping through Banksy’s art had me thinking about my dad and how he always said, “It never hurts to be kind and polite. You don’t have to agree with people, but kindness goes a long way.”

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I discovered a truth this year that shook me to my core. I felt like a fool, I couldn’t believe the impact of the findings could devastate me the way they did. Over a period of many years I thought “IT” was true only to discover that I was duped. Had I know about ‘IT’ when it happened, my life would be very different today. I feel like I wasted so much of my life…if only I had known. If only….

So that left me with some choices. I immediately was angry, hurt and judgemental. When I think about it still, I get very angry. Letting it go has been incredibly difficult. One side of the story was easier for me to be empathetic towards than the other. But when I examined both very carefully, I realized I understood the why and was able to let the anger go and morph it into something akin to pity. How much easier it would have been to know the truth right from the beginning. Clearly this was Karma teaching me a life lesson.

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I have distance myself from the incident. It clashes with values I have and if others don’t share them, then perhaps they weren’t the friends I first thought they were. I have worked hard at not judging. HARD. I never want to be that bitter old woman clicking her teeth because I have judged.

Because I like the human compassionate side of me more than the angry mean side of me, I reached out to one of those friends today.

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I want her to know I understand her loneliness, I understand her need to feel desired and wanted. I understand her not feeling important. I also want her to know, she can do better. There are things she can do to change her life. She isn’t stuck where she is. The choices she made will not rescue her. He isn’t real. That is the fake him and he can’t be trusted.

I suppose that is why it hurt so much. I know the fake him and I guess don’t know the real him.

I learned a very hard lesson a few years ago about honesty and empathy. Empathy is the key. Putting yourself in other’s shoes becomes an impactful reason for honesty IF THESE PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.

If they aren’t then the questions remain: Why do you stay? Why is everything a secret and for crying out loud, why are you lying?

The answer is simple.

You are afraid of hurting. You may be afraid of hurting yourself or the other person, but either way it makes you scared.

Simple truth.

If it has to be a secret, it is hurting someone.

As difficult as this year has been, my grinchy heart grew three sizes this year.

And what happened then–well, in Whoville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.
And then the true meaning of Christmas came through,
And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches–plus two.

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