42. How You See It

When you try to do something and you fail, that seems to suggest that you can’t do it. Suggest, but not prove. This is where you have to decide, and choose between letting it go, or trying harder. If you try again and fail again, the suggestion gets stronger, so the determination must get stronger too, or else, there is the option to let go of that endeavor, and move on. Does that make you a quitter? Or a failure? This is your choice too. Giving up too soon or too often is not a strength, though it’s not a disgrace either. But the price you pay is, you never give yourself a fighting chance.

Everything that happens in life is open to interpretation, and ultimately the only interpretation/ opinion/ belief that matters is yours, because that is the only one that actually has any actual true power or influence on your life.

The children’s rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” is not quite true. Words can hurt, a lot, but can not conquer you, unless you choose to let them. You always have a choice. Are you going to let somebody else “out there” set your course in life? Will you choose to let their opinion change your inner knowing that you are more than they can see? Are you doing that now? Why?

Once in a conversation, a firefighter friend told me “You can do it if you set your mind to it.” I wanted to be a firefighter but as a woman, at five-foot- six and 112 pounds, the odds against it were enormous. Three years of hard work pumping iron, running bleachers with a backpack full of sand, 40-mile bike rides, and several failed firefighter-physical-agility tests later, one day I didn’t fail. I passed that one, and then I passed some more, and eventually  did I became firefighte then an officer. Though I started out late, I served eight years of active duty first-response Fire and EMS, with a remarkable performance record. It turned out my friend was right. Since then, whenever I’ve had to set a difficult goal for myself, my mantra has been: “I can, and I will.”

Here’s a truth: It’s possible to learn more from failing than succeeding. If you start out not strong enough, you have to learn how to get strong, and then that learning and confidence will be there for you in everything else you do. The experience of failure is painful and humbling, but it is the ultimate challenge to inner strength. It can develop character and courage, depending on how you see it. Failure is one experience that can come between you and success, one rock in the road.  Everything depends on how you choose to see it. Life is open to an unlimited number of interpretations. The only one that matters, is yours.

Ravi Shankar said this: Life is like a river. The river does not stop because there is  stone”

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