Without Fail

Without fail, everyday failure floats to the forefront of my frontal lobe.

Without fail, everyday I fail.

(Even now I am doubting the function of the frontal lobe and considering erasing that line because, though it’s fun alliteration, it might not be “right.” This is interpreted in my crazy cranium as failure. But I’m gonna let it sit there.)

I’m gonna let it sit there because I am becoming more familiar with failure. And when you get more familiar with something, or someone, you get up close and can see bits you never noticed before. I’ve begun to see the beautiful causality of failure.

To embrace the beauty that results as a cause of failure is to accept imperfection. When one is a recovering perfectionist, such as myself, one strives to attain the all-allusive state of perfection. One is deceived by the high that is produced by the hit of the “try.” One more hit, and that will satiate my craving. It’s every addict’s justification. One more “try,” and everything will be “just right.”

But it’s not. It never is. There’s always that one more thing that needs fixed. So I get another fix and fall into the trying trap. Which is actually a type of failure. Because I fail to see the beauty of imperfection.

The beauty of failure and imperfection begins and ends in the power of connection. Perfection creates a separation and a distance, an otherness. Imperfection unites as a common thread of understanding between all humans, a togetherness.

The beauty of failure is the space created by flaws, which invites a completion from an outside source. When I fail I am forced to rely on others to help me. This open door is a welcoming energy. It’s a beautiful thing to be the kind of attractive that attracts the kindness and love of others.

The beauty of failure is that I am stripped of status. Status encumbers, trips and splats the untouchable perfect person flat on their face. When I am no longer encumbered by that perfection, I can finally be good. Or at least good enough. Which really is enough.

Good, better, best? Let’s put that to rest. Because good is enough, and enough is best.

I fear I fail my kids every day. I fear I fail at my job, with my finances, with my house keeping, in my paperwork, and the list goes on. (I fear I’ve failed at including some important thing on that list just now. Gah!)

My marriage failed. Yes. It did. Was that my intent? No. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Man, did I ever try to make that thing work. Is this judgement from some celestial deity in the form of castigating punishment for some ambiguous badness? That really was what I used to think. It’s that kind of thinking that gets me craving a hit of “try” for my next high, so that I can “try” and stop feeling so bad. But it doesn’t work. Never does.

Maybe the big feelings (that I used to call bad feelings) are okay, after all. We are human. We are feeling beings. And I’m learning that feeling on a grand scale is quite beautiful, without fail.

Angie Lynn Washington

The beauty of a rainbow is created by fractured light. Light that failed to keep it together.



One thought on “Without Fail

  1. I found your blog through A Life Overseas and see your story has some parallels to my mom’s. One of my favorite songs is Gungor’s “Beautiful Things”. Hugs

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