Tuesday, 28 June 2016

I learnt how to fail.

Dearest Darling Friends,
I crashed my car against a bike a few weeks ago. He was riding in front of me. He stopped.  Unfortunately I didn’t.  The good news is that I emerged totally functional. Great news is, so did they. They were two of them.They were very decent people. There was no fracas, no chaos, no fight.
I apologised. I offered to pay for the bike's repairs. They agreed. We exchanged contact details and I drove on. Here is the interesting part. During this accident,I observed myself responding in 4 stages. I am sure you will mirror yourself with these 4 stages.
1)  My first response: “You are an ass” – As the accident happened,my first response was to search for someone to blame. (Has this ever happened with you too?) In this case, it was the rider of the Bullet bike who decided to stop while making the turn. In my self defense, I reasoned, they were supposed to glide through. Not my fault. The driver had absolutely no concern for whether it would be convenient for me to make the stop. Clearly not a good driver. Irresponsible too. Now, he has me late for my meeting.
2)  My second response: “I am an ass” – My second response came soon after the first.  I sheepishly remembered that I am actually supposed to keep a safe distance. My inner critic showed up in full flow. “What an ass I am! I drive rash. I am always in a hurry. It’s a miracle that I don't have more accidents. I am not fit to drive. There are always too many things buzzing to glory in my head.” It’s a good thing that I was in this mode when I came out of the car. That probably saved me. I apologized profusely which seemed to calm down the brother who was driving the bike. I was saved again his pillion (his sister) was unhurt. he said it so. We examined the damage, exchanged contact information and went our way.
3)  My third response: “It’s okay” – As I drove onward bravely, a little shaken, something in me finally relaxed. I decided to be kind to myself. I reasoned with me. The critic in me was asked to keep quiet. The 'nice guy' in me was convinced, I didn’t need to blame me. I didn’t need to blame anyone else.  I just needed to get over the disappointment of the failure by being compassionate to myself. I let myself smile. I gave myself a hug. I felt a lot better.
4) My fourth response: “What is the lesson here?” – The lessons for me were two-fold.  First, I need to slow down. I need to be more mindful and relaxed. On the surface I was. Deep within there were too many chaoses. There were too many things I was running behind. Second learning: things do go wrong. If we get stuck in the rut of blaming others or ourselves, it makes things worse.
In short, I learnt how to fail well. I gave myself permission to fail, without seeing myself as a failure.  I promised myself I will extend the same compassion to others.
If this resonated with you, please do comment, and share with others. Who knows who needs this article today?
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
naren
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.

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