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Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Leave Some Room at the Table For Failure

I've been thinking a lot lately about giving failure a bit of a break.

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I'm eyeball-deep in a creative project that has me, at each turn, face all the ways I am inexperienced, inadequate, lacking or failing. After some months of making myself wrong for not being experienced, adequate, fine and winning, I started giving some thought to why failure is such a scary concept and such a scary experience.

A friend said to me:

"Without the possibility of loss, there is no game. I am a poker player and I sure would like to win all the time. When I play no limit poker, there is always a time, often multiple times, when I have to go "all in". Sure I could lose it all. And HAVE. But, damn, it's such an incredible game. And I only have like 80-100 years to enjoy myself. I opt for a rich, full life. The only question is whether you will go for the whole pot or be deterred by your fears of loss. It's ok to be afraid. It's scary to allow yourself to be so fully vulnerable. You are doing it right and at the right speed. Trust your instincts."

And then, in a moment of clarity and brilliance, I said to another friend:

"I'd like to, in this body, in this lifetime, dance with all of it. Not worry whether am doing it right, growing, healing, or making art, or being happy; to let the sad, lonely and crimped up parts have a place at the table just like the glorious parts; to have them be welcomed and contribute to my sense of peace and rightness with my self
and my mind, not diminish it."

I'll leave it at that, and I'll leave some room at my table…

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Posted by LiYana at 8:27 pm

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