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Failure: The Best Thing That Happened To Me

Posted: September 8, 2015

A young woman talks about how her failure in marriage brought her to a better space, and how it opened her eyes to new things in life.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

J.K. Rowling

Of all the things I have done, letting go of my marriage was the most difficult thing to do and my biggest failing. No don’t get me wrong, I am not depressed nor was it a happy marriage. That relationship was like a rot in the plant from day one – the kind where you have to cut out the affected portion to save the plant. It was a very painful choice to make, but in the end had I not made the right decision, well the decay, would have spread not just to me but to my son as well. But that is not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is why I am happy that I failed.

When they say a strong relationship cannot be built on lies and deceit, I should have believed them. I tried though, even when I knew that anything that does not begin well will for sure end badly. I tried hard to please, change, accept and then salvage the situation. That my marriage was a situation that needed salvaging should have been my first reason to quit. But I kept egging myself on. Then slowly the realization began to hit me, I was losing.

That is when I began hold on tighter, made so many more adjustments that I failed to recognise myself and I began to carry the onus of things that were not mine to bear at all. Finally at a friend’s wedding, there was that one moment when I knew definitively that I had not succeeded in trying to save the tree from being cut. What had to end had to be ended, and what could be saved had to be saved. Physically I never went back after that day. Mentally it was a whole different story.

The heart refuses to accept defeat easily. After all, we are all wired to try and try until we succeed.

The heart refuses to accept defeat easily. After all, we are all wired to try and try until we succeed. So even though the mind decides to abort, the heart keeps wishing that something will change. I kept praying, because I did not want to be called a failure. Hope is a strange thing; it can be your biggest strength and your biggest weakness, sometimes even at the same time. In this case it was my failing.

It kept me hanging on anticipating a reaction, a fight. The only thing I got was indifference, and that made think of myself as a loser, the biggest bum in the history of mankind. Why? You ask. Well I knew exactly what I was doing, and the way I was feeling was wrong, but then I refused to get up and walk away from that spot.

That is why it is important to accept failure, to help you to get up and move on. Failing by default is just no way to live. We try to succeed, sometimes in spite of knowing that what we are trying to achieve is not possible. I tried for two years, before I could accept the reality. Whether that was the right thing to do is debatable. But I tried and I failed.

I kept offering way too many second chances to a person who did not deserve even one. And I held on, until I realised that I was the only one. After that, walking away was the easiest thing to do. Yes I am a loser but then, I can say I tried; I exhausted all likelihood and opportunities that is why I failed – not because I tried, but I tried everything and there was nothing else left to do.

I realise that being unsuccessful then was the best thing that could have happened.

I realise that being unsuccessful then was the best thing that could have happened. Imagine living in a loveless, unhappy marriage, imagine adjusting to getting abused, and imagine living a life I had not wanted to live, imagine having to do all this for the rest of my life. That is exactly what I was choosing to do, every time I did not want to fail. And that is why this defeat is the best thing that happened to me.

Accepting this failure helped me learn and see what I was doing wrong my whole life. Living in the fear of failing, is like living life by default. This helped me switch off my Auto pilot mode, and made me realise the importance of working towards my passion irrespective of the risks. So failing is the best thing that could have happened to me in this case.

Was I being daring when I tried to make my marriage work? I think I was. Am I a failure because it did not? I think I am wiser and better for it. I think I have learned a lot from my experience, and it opened my eyes to so many things that I hadn’t accepted. I think my failure turned me into a learner, and that is such a good space to be in.

First published here

Cover image via Shutterstock

Jaibala Rao is a Writer and a Poet whose life revolves around the people she

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