Failure is like a little boy

I was feeling terribly anxious and needed to do something about it. I decided to attempt to embrace the anxiety and feel it all, completely, without fear. This is based on my theory that emotions need to be felt in order for them to dissipate.

I meditated. I explored the different anxieties I have and felt them. I shifted from one to the next letting it fill me, feeling all the pain with it. Then I came to the anxiety about failure. I was tentative. I tried to embrace it, but I kept resisting. I coaxed myself to keep trying and I slowly broke down the resistance to touching it. Then I held it close, tight, and let it all come through me.

When I finally embraced the anxiety of failure, it turned around and faced me. It was a little boy, 6 to 8 years old. I was kneeling in front of him and we could just see eye to eye. Behind him was a bicycle. We were in a suburb on the road near some trees and a fenced off area of woodland. In that moment, I realized that failure was just a little boy. A boy who plays, and rides his bike, and falls, scraping his hands and knees. Then he gets back on his bike to keep on playing. He plays hard, fails at something, gets hurt and goes right back to playing. He is going to keep playing, riding his bike. He is going to keep adventuring because that is what he is intended to do. He’s a little boy.

We embraced again and I asked him to squeeze me tight. I wanted to squeeze out all that anxiety so it could dissipate. When we let go, he was wearing a helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads. Of course. Play hard, but play safe. Even with this safety he could still get hurt, but the risk was worth taking. He has to play hard.

I watched him ride around. He occasionally fell: But got right back up. Right back to riding his bike.

I am still getting occasional pangs of anxiety. I am trying to remember that failure is a little boy. I’m trying to remember our embrace and the feeling of the anxiety dissipating away.

This post was made possible by the editor, Nikki Phillips.