Chrysta Bairre from Live Love Work is a talented motivational writer. I was ecstatic when she accepted my invitation to be a guest writer. Visit her to feel re-energized about all aspects of your life.
Today Chrysta shared a wonderful piece about embracing failure. It’s heart-felt and resonated for me on a personal level as well. It is tough to accept failure, to learn to give up, but sometimes the greatest gifts in life are presented as a result.
I have a great life. I love my life! And every day I’m grateful for my failures because without them I wouldn’t be here.
I had big dreams in my 20s. I dreamed of a family, financial stability, of career success, and happiness. I thought I would be happy when… when I got married, when I got a raise, when I got a promotion, when life got good.
I met a guy that I loved and I thought, “this is it”. Our relationship was more loving and supportive than any relationship I’d seen or known. Having grown up in an abusive, poverty-stricken, and dysfunctional family there was nowhere to go but up.
My husband also came from humble and hurtful beginnings. We shared the sorrows of a painful past, and understood each other in a way few others could.
In the beginning it was like a dream. We had fights but we didn’t scream at each other and he never physically harmed me. I wasn’t happy, but I thought our marriage was as good as it gets.
My husband got a great job in the height of the dot.com boost, and I soon followed suit. I bought a brand new car, we signed the lease on a nice apartment, and we thought we had it made. I still wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t miserable, either.
Not long after we started too-good-to-be-true jobs the dot.com bubble burst and we were both unemployed within 24 hours. My plans were falling apart and I could no longer ignore the unhappiness in my marriage.
As much as I loved my husband, my marriage encouraged me to repeat the dysfunctional behavior of my family history. We didn’t share our joys, we wallowed in our sorrows. We didn’t encourage each other, we enabled each other.
I remembered how I’d cried on my wedding day not because I was happy but because I didn’t have to be alone with my pain. I finally acknowledged the depth of my unhappiness.
I was willing to be unhappy. I swore to myself I wouldn’t fail at marriage. The truth is my marriage was already a failure, and by staying in a marriage that didn’t work I was failing my husband and myself. Getting a divorce was the most honoring and loving action I could take for both our sakes.
The divorce took its toll, emotionally and financially, as divorce often does. I was alone and broke- really, really broke- but I was no longer broken.
I began to rebuild my life. I didn’t know what life would hold for me next, and I kept pushing forward. I struggled for years, barely scraping by trying to pay off debts leftover from my marriage. Shortly before my 30th birthday I suffered an injury that required two surgeries and more co-pays than I could afford.
Reviewing my finances, I felt depressed and discouraged. I was almost 30 and I had little to show for it. I was divorced, in debt, with no assets, no savings, and a stack of medical bills.
I had failed my finances as I had failed in my marriage- in both I had the best of intentions and not enough wisdom to know what I was getting myself into. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.
I began to consider bankruptcy as a last resort, and there were days I was hanging on by a thread. I realized I was punishing myself for getting to this point. I berated myself for my mistakes.
One day I realized happiness doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from within.
I made mistakes and I saw that success doesn’t come from never falling, but from getting up every time you fall. I realized filing for bankruptcy was not failing myself, it was loving myself. Failing in the eyes of my creditors and society meant giving myself another chance to live.
Seven years later I look back at my so-called failures and realize the best decisions I ever made were the same decisions many consider failure. My greatest success was failing.
Today I’m happy. I don’t have everything I want, and I appreciate everything I have. I stopped looking for happiness outside myself and started cultivating it from within. Today I celebrate my failures, and my courage in admitting defeat.
It feels great to be a failure.
Chrysta wants to inspire you to love your work-life! As a blogger and creator of Live Love Work, Chrysta writes about work-life balance, personal development, professional development and career management.
With a passion and excitement for life, Chrysta has built upon hardship and struggle to become truly happy, finding joy in each and every day. She takes this purpose and shares it with others to encourage a happier life for anyone that wants it.