Perspective on Failure

For weeks and weeks now, I have lived in a constant state of dealing with failure.

That moment when the neighbor unexpectedly drops by on the day the children pulled out all their toys, the dog peed on the carpet, the laundry was started but not finished, the dinner dishes still aren’t clean (only to pick the top four areas of disarray).

That moment you decide to eat the bowl of queso because it’s only a small one and it’s your favorite guilty pleasure and how many pounds can one smallish bowl of queso add when you normally eat so clean and healthy? (3 – in case you were contemplating the same thing.  And they don’t come off as easy as they went on.)

That moment when your child publicly decides to air his grievances and all the other parents are staring at you as if none of their children ever pitched a fit in all their born days.  And all the people without children have that smug “This is why I’ll never have children and if I do, I’ll be so much better of a parent than you” look on their faces.

That moment when you look at the to do list and even though you’ve been working frantically all day, there are more items still unchecked than checked.

That moment when your patience runs out and the sleeplessness takes over and you snap at that precious child, walk away from the exchange knowing that even though she needed to be disciplined, you’ve handled it all wrong.

That moment you make a snarky comment to your husband and you know you shouldn’t have said it as soon as it leaves your mouth.  You feel the wall go up, but the apology won’t come because you’re too overwhelmed and exhausted and sad.

Big sigh.

As a recovering perfectionist, I daily wrestle with the acceptance of my humanity.  And the more willing I am to become vulnerable and admit this, I discover I am not alone.

And here is the truth, tired mama, exhausted student, discouraged employee (or un-employee), weary dreamer:

You will fail.  But you are not a failure.

Even if it is through a veil of tears, even if it is only one plodding step at a time, even if it is with literally only a mustard seed of faith left in your clenched, trembling hands – as long as you keep living, you are not a failure.

I whisper this to my own heart as much as to yours: He’s got you.  And when He’s got you, He won’t let go.  So don’t you let go now.

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2 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Perfectionism

2 responses to “Perspective on Failure

  1. I get this. In so many ways. It’s tough learning to lay down those old holds of perfectionism and pick up the new cords of His Grace. Mostly when dealing with children, because come on, how do the most precious gifts God gives us drive us to such insanity 🙂

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