16th January 2017
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As children we played, we sang, we danced and we loved. We trusted, we had faith; we gave ourselves a hundred chances. We believed, we laughed. We cried, we screamed and we hated. We didn’t know the why or the how of these emotions. We just went with the flow of what we were feeling and when we were done with it we moved on easily. We adapted, we accepted, we ploughed ahead with perseverance and stubbornness. As children we never faltered. We just got up and dusted ourselves and surged ahead renewed.
When did we change? When did fear become the root of our existence, when did having a fall and failing became the bane of our fears and getting up, a life challenging experience? When did our downfall begin?
A couple of months ago I walked in to my then twelve-year-old son’s room. He was intensely reading aloud a speech of sorts and I wondered what he was up to. When I asked him he told me, “mum I am running for Class Representative, I need to give a speech, votes will happen and then a decision” I looked at him and smiled “Adiraj isn’t this the third year in a row you’ve been trying?” he looked on and quipped “yup”, “but mum this time I wont fail.” That faith. What faith he had in himself i marveled.
The next day he called me from his school bus and whooped in a heart- screeching loud, joyous wail, “I did it, I got the votes mom. I am class representative. Mom three years of trying, I never gave up, I went for it and I got it. How cool is that”.
Hearing the victory in his voice my heart filled with pride not for the fact that he had won, but for the fact that when he fell and failed he didn’t fear. He got right back up and tried again and fell again, but got up again and tried yet again to win.
This lesson I learned from my son, I realized in teaching him perseverance I failed in following my example.
Somewhere I forgot my belief systems and leaned into the comfortable feeling of being the sum of all my bad experiences. Making survival my companion. How boring.
Its the people who love you so verily deeply find they feel the need to jerk your collar up to get you to begin breaking those walls.. in there begins our journey of unraveling our experiences and relearning to be a winner and not a victim of our experiences. I realized too that we take along a lot of our fears and use them as weapons to explain our laziness, our mistakes, and our selfishness mostly to ourselves. I realized that too, in seeing this mirror I saw how far the rabbit hole of inertia i had travelled through.
We all do it. We all at some point survive in our survival and make a life within those hard walls.
Writing my blog today I related my life to Art too and to my never ending delight found in my ruminations that Art too breaks those walls. We can make our own paintings. We can whitewash and begin again.
I see that there is so much to learn from an artist and his canvas. The way he thinks, the way he perceives his art and the expression of what is born in that thinking. It’s the sum of his experiences too, but with his canvas he can create what he wants, he has the freedom to change. He has the freedom to become anything he wants without the constraints of life and its fears.
We can paint our life. We can sing and dance and live free and happy and fail and get up and try again and accept and move on easily too. We don’t need to have rules, to live our lives by and the need to live up to those never ending rules that fill us with the fear of failure. We just need the courage to follow our dreams and needs with honesty and self discipline.
Do you think we can? Imagine the canvases we could paint. It’s my beginning. Rising up to every fear that kept me from opening my heart to my dreams. Dusting myself off again to win. What about you?
Written by Shwetambari Soni
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