Failure is still worth pursuing — if you use the right strategy…

I have felt so listless and melancholic lately, this mixed with absolute fiery anger and injustice!

The lack of structure, busyness and rhythm of being in other people’s lives has left a great void that I for one have not been able to make sense of.

I have found myself dwelling in my past failures and mistakes. Idle time is not always a healthy thing in the mind of a high achiever. I have not been able to snap out of the funk of rumination of calculating the precise fuck ups of the last 4 years and it’s been like an endless night of skin-crawling reruns like those painful infomercials!

But instead the topic has been me — my children, my poor decision making, my paralysis when it comes to standing up for myself and saying no to those that I have allowed to take from me. Or at least that is where it started…

My assault in January 2019 was definitely the most exasperating low point but even now as I continue to work through releasing the trauma I am amazed at the amount of grief and disappointment that can consume my thoughts.

I have sat with great bewilderment about the world we are living in, that such things happen. Highlighted greatly by this COVID 19 situation I find myself thinking about the helplessness we all really share. We experience oppression by those hungry for power, the government, those who are suffering and those with agendas. It’s so easy to feel like life on this planet is one failure after another.

I wonder what failures are occurring at the moment that in the months to come will haunt me. What am I neglecting in my day to day now that will be profoundly disruptive like the last few years’ failures? How can I even prevent them if I don’t know what they are?

I felt this paralyzed when I was in college. A senior lecturer, he was a bully actually. He made me into a good Homeopathic prescriber through his methods of anguish and torment. He talked a lot about the failures of Homeopath’s and how the profession was in shambles. Young Homeopaths like me were bastardizing the beauty and intelligence of the brilliant medicine system through our ignorance and we needed to work harder and study more so we would be worthy of the title of becoming a Practitioner of Homoeopathic Medicine.

Yet at the same time he was my greatest teacher — is that my untapped self-loathing needing to be flogged to feel worthiness? He talked about case failures and practice failures and that how none of us would ever be able to successfully build a private practice. This motivated me! Why did his negative psychology motivate me so much?

His wisdom through his verbal brutality was profound, it still motivates me to this day. He said –

“Don’t worry about the practice, about being able to pay your overheads or your reputation…focus on the one case in front of you, one symptom, one rubric and one case at a time. When you get this person well then you focus on the next case and if you have any skill at all with luck you will always have another patient.”

This has been my approach, my strategy for my practice and it has worked. In 17 years I have never spent a cent on advertising and thank god as I would not even know where to begin!

In some ways this has been my approach to failure also. My strategy — work on what is in front of me, work on trying to crack and experience breakthroughs with this and then work with the next one.

I struggle with the notion that failure creates growth, it seems far too painful for this. It seems sadistic and cruel, but I guess it’s the only barometer we really have.

After all, I’m as stubborn as a mule and if it wasn’t for the pain and the consequences I wouldn’t stop the behaviors that get me there in the first place! I still don’t use oven mitts when getting things out of the oven and I get burnt every single time!

Yet despite this all it’s been my private practice that has given me rhythm, meaning and purpose throughout all of my failures. I think it’s because of this advice that I was given at college by my lecturer. I think I accepted early on even before the dream of what my life could be professionally that it was going to be tough, super tough…yet it has been amazing, fulfilling and blissful! It has been easy and organic and I have thrived in it even when in my own personal circumstances I have been a puddle on the floor.

A calling, a deep incarnate purpose perhaps? Rightly or wrongly my professional identity has carried me through great mistakes and failures in my personal life.

Maybe it’s time to transfer this wisdom to my private life and to my feelings of being so pissed off with the world. Maybe my framework has to change, I have to expect it to be tough, to be cruel and to be painful in order to have the emotional resilience and foresight to cut through the delusions and idealism…

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