Bent, Unbroken.

I don’t know anyone who has never failed.

Life thrives on the unpredictable. We know who we love, but we don’t know when we will lose them. We know what we want, but that there are still no assurances. Nothing is impossible in the same way that anything is improbable. Earthquakes and accidents exist in the same world as weddings and baby showers. Both can happen to you. Control, you see, is an illusion. Neither you nor I have any.

Your ability to handle failure will serve you way more faithfully than your ability to picture success. There is no way to put this lightly, so I won’t try to. Life doesn’t work around you. It doesn’t bow to your will simply because you want something so bad. It doesn’t surrender control because your destiny came calling. Control is a script written with the sole purpose of a happy ending. Adversity is life tearing that script to pieces. How you react to these moments when life tries to break you will depend squarely on your original shape or form. Your form is your attitude towards failure. At the heart of a broken person, is the belief that failure was never an option. Allow me to break it to you, failure is real. Whether you want to accept it or not, it exists just as much as success. I’m not here to discourage you. I’m here to tell you that the first step to learning how to cope with adversity, is to have a sincere respect for failure and what it teaches.

You’re going to need to be stubborn, otherwise failure will eat your heart out.

We only loose what we cling to. If I cling to the idea that I’m owed or destined to be great, then failure will feel like loss. It will rob me of my identity. Failure isn’t a loss, it’s a lesson. Sometimes it’s trying to tell you that you are not made of steel, that you can also bleed. That indeed you can’t carry the weight of the world and it was never your responsibility to begin with. Failure can teach you to question the things you believe in, that is hardly a bad thing. Knowledge comes from curiosity, so question everything. That is how you follow the truth. How did I get here? Which part is my fault? How can I take responsibility? What do I benefit from blaming other people? The questions that really matter, are the ones that turn the finger back towards yourself. That is how you heal. If you can forgive yourself, then you can start again.

This time pay attention, not just to everything that could go right, but also to everything that’s threatening it. This is by no means a negative mindset, this is learning how to see things for what they are and not what you want. What you want and what you have control over are not always going to be the same thing. Outside of giving the best you can with what you have, control is something you will need to learn how to live without. Don’t be safe in the idea that you have control of your destiny, be safe in the knowledge that you will be fine even without control. That you are ready for what is thrown at you next. What I am talking about, is letting go. 

Let go of the notion that you cannot fail and embrace the reality that even if you do, you are ready to fight like hell to find a way out. Coping with adversity starts with acknowledging its existence even when every bone in your body tries to deny it. Denial is fear hiding behind ignorance. You don’t beat failure by avoiding it, you beat it by outlasting it. My message to you isn’t that you can do anything you want, I can’t guarantee that and I promise you, nobody else can. My message is much simpler… 

You are not broken, and the evidence is in the unshakable fact that you are still here.

21 thoughts on “Bent, Unbroken.

  1. “…Denial is fear hiding behind ignorance.” I like that.
    I have a friend who fears failure so much they keep pushing themselves and can’t take it if things don’t work out. I am definitely sharing this with them. Thanks again, Ernest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Let go of the notion that you cannot fail and embrace the reality that even if you do, you are ready to fight like hell to find a way out. ”
    Go shout it from the rooftops! This is a message everyone needs to wrap their heads around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the truth and nothing but the truth; “You’re going to need to be stubborn, otherwise failure will eat your heart out.”

    We all fail at something. I came to this realisation rather painfully than happily. However, I’ve held on to the notion that I’d rather fail than succeed, since, failure means I did not do it right and now I have to improve and come back stronger and better, whereas, success means that I did it right and now I have to keep up the momentum to avoid losing (too much work compared to the alternative) lol.

    Thanks for the piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re oozing with wisdom man. In the words of Henry Ford ” Failure is simply an opportunity to start again, this time more intelligently”..
    Thanks for the piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is sobering, I confess…. uncomfortably sobering but provoking alternative perspectives of what I aim to achieve in life. I will definitely reread this. Thanks Ernest.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this piece. Especially the end.
    “I am not BROKEN, and the evidence is in the unshakable fact that I AM STILL HERE.”
    Thank you for this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re a quotable author, I’d quote every line, failure yes is as real as success in a world where accidents and baby showers do exist, and then it is not a bad thing to fail but it’s a possibility that we have been blurred from seeing ever since BC lol!
    Thank you for the post, we need you to write more.

    Liked by 1 person

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