This is one of my favorite quotes. I think it’s because I have realized that sooner or later I will fail again. Perfection is not a possibility. Not for me. Not for you. In my walk I have learned that to shoot for perfection is to prepare for relapse. If I expect perfection anything less leads me in to the spiral of shame and despair. When I make the statement, “I will never do (blank) again.” and then I do (blank) again I immediately respond by telling myself that “I” am a failure. That’s the very definition of shame. So I bear down and swear I’ll never do (blank) again and suddenly (blank) becomes (BLANK!).
Do you see what happened there? When you look at this post your attention is immediately drawn to (BLANK!). In the same way, when I swear to never do it again the thing that I am fighting has become the elephant in the room and I am focused solely on it. I have lost sight of everything else in life. I have no time for family, for community, for self care. I have no time for anything except (BLANK!).
Let me get back to Beckett’s quote. What stands out to me is the last line, Fail Better. What I have learned is that when I fail rather than focusing on the commitment to never do it again I can examine my failure. I evaluate my plan. I look for weaknesses, not in myself but in my recovery plan and in my response to circumstances and triggers. Did I recognize a trigger and not make a phone call? Are there people, places or things that are not healthy for me at this point in my journey? Are there boundaries that I failed to enforce or that I need to put in place? Suddenly the problem isn’t (BLANK!), and (BLANK!) isn’t the focus of my attention. My focus is on my plan, my tools, my relationships.My focus is on (MY LIFE!). And if and when I fail again, I’ll fail better!
If you’re interested in learning more about how to “Fail Better”, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk.