Last May I was exercising after getting back from a fun vacation. In reality, I was too tired to exercise, but didn’t want to miss a day. I consistently exercise four times a week, and it’s part of my life. But, while exercising, I failed! I mis-stepped, my left foot coming down on my foot, and I fell…right onto my right ankle. That’s right. My right ankle caught my fall, and it rolled. It was gruesome, and it hurt like crazy! I both sprained (high ankle sprain) and broke the tip of my fibula bone. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t exercise, and I couldn’t walk. I could barely take care of my kids, even on crutches.
This was a rough time for me. And although it was a failure, it was one that I can learn from. It was also a season that brought me gratitude to my husband and how much he did to help out with meals, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. There was a week or two where he was doing it all. It was a time to appreciate that fact that I do have two great working legs. It was also a time where we went on a fabulous vacation by car (my husband drove the entire trip).
Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you failed miserably? Maybe it was in a relationship…maybe in a work situation…maybe with a friend…maybe with your sister? Whatever the situation, many times we think that we have blown it.We think that we have made a huge mistake. We think life will never be the same. We think our career will suffer because of our failure. We feel like we have injured a loved one.
Let’s face it, we have very little control in life, and many things that happen are out of our control. For instance, on my wedding day, it snowed so much that the roads became slick, and many people didn’t show up from out-of-town. Now, I could consider this a failure, or I could consider this life and something I had very little control over; I enjoyed the day for what it was: marrying the love of my life. For situations like these, we have to learn to just see it what it is…life. And, many times life happens.
In other instances, though, there are mistakes that we actually commit. We are grumpy and do not treat our children/spouse/clients/customers the way we normally do…or we blow the account altogether. We don’t trust someone we are in a romantic relationship with enough and it ends. We do something that is taken as miscommunication and causes a rift with a family member. Whatever the situation is, we cause it. In these situations, do we consider the failure to be a friend or foe?
If we consider our mistakes to be foes, we usually contribute to the situation and make it worse. We usually let it control who we become, and we let the situation define our next situation. We begin to live out of fear. We begin to be less willing to take risks. We learn to settle. Does this sound familiar?
If we decide to let our mistakes become our friend, we learn from them. We see the life lessons and growth that comes from them. We learn more about ourselves and learn to have the freedom to take more risks. We learn our boundaries so that we do not go out of them as often. We don’t have to settle anymore because we learn how to become more successful.
I have often said, Fail, and fail big time! But after failing, pick yourself up, move on, and learn from it. You see, in my original situation, I am seeing great success and learning opportunities. I do not exercise when I’m too tired and I don’t push myself beyond what I know I am capable of doing. I am kinder and more helpful to those I see who are in a wheelchair or need help. I teach this to my children too. I see that fun can come out of stressful and trying seasons. It’s not all bad, and I have decided to make hurting my ankle last May a friend in my life.
I hope you can learn to reconcile your failures, and see them as friends. Friends bring out the best, help us grow, and make us better.
Looking for other blogs to read? Why not read about trusting yourself more, your strengths as a mom, and making time for friends.