Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Season of Failure

A digital painting of maple seeds, helicopters, if you will,
waiting for the right time to flutter to the ground.

The season of failure is the best time
for sowing the seeds of success.
~Paramahansa Yogananda

It's always difficult to remember this when you are in the depths of struggling. I had a really difficult weekend and was feeling physically and emotionally ragged for a few days. The good news is, I have superpowers and am in total control of my emotional well being. I have the powers of hope, optimism, faithfulness, gratitude, and distraction to keep me in check...to keep from falling too far into the black hole of self pity. I have found that managing expectations has a lot to do with my emotional state.

I'm a go-getter, type A. Always have been and always will be. I don't like that my physical condition limits my ability to accomplish things in the time scale that I set for myself. This weekend I had a list of things I wanted to do with my family to enjoy Mother's Day. I wanted to plant my organic vegetable garden. I wanted to go to a local outdoor market.  I wanted to take a walk at one of my favorite birding spots. I wanted to get the house scrubbed and sparkling for the week; the laundry cleaned, folded, and put away. I wanted to visit my mother-in-law and spend time with extended family. I had my own honey-do list in my head a mile long. And then Lyme happened. What I mean by that is the disease reared its ugly head unexpectedly, as it so often does, and symptoms came crashing to the surface, causing me pain, shortness of breath, lack of energy and patience. All of my plans came to a screeching halt.  The list had to be scrapped. Abandoned. 

And then the self pity sets in...you know how this works...when things don't go your way you do it too.  The "when am I going to get better for good" questions start seeping in, sowing doubt and frustration. Agitation leads to anger and then the feeling of uselessness drowns me. This go-getter Type A person does NOT like to feel useless.  The spiral goes down from there...down, down, down.

What I have realized is I need to start managing my expectations of myself. I need to give my body permission to tell me it needs rest. I need to cut the list apart and distribute it among days, not just hours. 

Easier said than done, though. 

The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success... Just like the maple tree in my back yard, which produces hundreds of thousands of helicopter seeds just hanging on waiting for the right wind, I have to take failures like this weekend, wrap them up and give them wings, allowing them to teach me more about myself...allow them to sow ideas and strategies for future success.

Easier said than done, though. 

But you already knew that. 


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