failures

THANK GOD FOR JUNE: It is said that a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. This year has been amazing. I’m thankful for big stuff, small stuff, standard stuff, personal stuff. I don’t know if I’ll post them all. I’m just going to go with it. I hope you read something that feels good.

This morning, an email from Danielle LaPorte set one bold question across my screen, “What failures are you thankful for?” 

Conan O’Brien said, “It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.” It takes time to see failures or disappointments for what they really are… life.

If I hadn’t made a mess of things and embarrassed myself that time outside of my apartment, I would have never accepted that I was bubbling in resentments, old stories, and hell-bent on validation. I wouldn’t have never dealt with the festering. 

Because sometimes it takes breaking our rules to humbly crack us open. To morph us.

If I had excelled in each of those roles, I might have never considered writing. If I had gotten along better with my boss, I might still be there now. If I hadn’t gotten my heart broken, I don’t think I would have ever really bothered to grow up. If I hadn’t been alone, I may have always looked to someone else–instead of inward. If I had validated all my definitions of success and happiness, I would have never realized that they were all wrong.

If I had reached my goal and had become that version of Antonella, I wouldn’t have gone through the explosive adventure of unbecoming.

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Because if I hadn’t spent years stuck in ‘unworthiness,’ I would have been just another writer who urges people to be positive without understanding what makes it hard. If I hadn’t ever arrived at that awkward predicament at work, the thought: That doesn’t work for me, would have never surfaced—let alone come out of my mouth. If I had gotten my way each time, I would have sold myself short.

Because it was under the assumption that I had failed at so many things I grew the notion that I had nothing left to lose… which created the most comforting thoughts:

  • “This makes me great.  This makes me worthy. This makes me good.”
  • I might as well enjoy myself.
  • Honest feels good.
  • It’s too late for perfection. I might as well focus on peace.
  • You know… I like me.
  • If getting it right every time is impossible; I might as well do things with all of my heart.

Because any recovering addict will tell you: Your greatest weaknesses will lead you to your greatest and more gracious self–if, and only if, you work with them.

About Antonella Saravia

Antonella is a New York based writer from Nicaragua.

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