It's Sunita here.
Many a times, we all get taken in by the brash light of success that is personified by those who achieve and succeed.
What we don't see is the journey of how they got there. Today is about the path littered with 'defeat'.
"Describe the defeated ones," said a merchant, when he saw that the Copt had finished speaking. And he answered:
Defeated are those who never failed. Defeat means that we lose a particular battle or war. Failure does not allow us to go on fighting.
Defeat comes when we fail to get something we very much want. Failure does not allow us to dream. It's motto is "Expect Nothing and you won't be disappointed".
Defeat ends when we launch into another battle.
Failure has no end : It is a lifetime choice.
These are Paulo Coelho's words from his book Manuscript Found in Accra.
Are you going to give up your dream because of a setback? Or a few setbacks?
Or perhaps many setbacks in succession?
I hope not. Because these setbacks are merely defeats- not failures. They are meant to be in our path so we may fall down, hurt and find the determination and strength to get up again. In that act, we grow. The scars that we bear after every defeat are our badges of honor and a map to our journey. There is honor in these scars- not shame. Shame would be ours if we gave up on what we have determined gives our life meaning.
Defeats, I have discovered, are lessons that we must learn to become the people we are destined to be. So we must re frame our understanding of defeat and being down and out in our mind. It is only a temporary place that we inhabit while we regroup to rethink our strategy and sharpen our minds for the journey ahead.
And in defeat, despite how hurt and paralyzed we may feel, our dream is manifesting itself. Even though it may not feel that way at that time.
But one day, you will be triumphant in the form that you were dreaming of. And you will realize that every defeat was a little triumph along the way to your Promised Land.
If you are feeling defeated, here is some practical advice for you,
- Understand your journey that you believe you are meant to be on (you have decided to be a 'writer/entrepreneur/social worker/etc., etc.____' and are starting out.)
- Have support and guidance around you- emotional, financial, spiritual...(The more defeats you suffer does not get you 'bonus points'. Let's be real- defeat hurts like hell! so it's prudent to minimize it. And loving support helps us lick our wounds, regain our confidence and move forward faster and with less damage to our spirit.)
- Give yourself time to think as you go about the business of being on your journey. (if not, then you will constantly miss out on the contemplation necessary to discover the hidden gifts of your defeats. Solitude and reflection are necessary for us to become wiser)
I leave you with a few lines from my poem 'Shutters' in my book Stripping : My Fight to Find Me. I hope they inspire you to move from defeat to the next battle of your fight!
I’m in love with my cruel story
I’m in awe of my ugly scars
They’re mine they’re mine they’re mine
For me to proudly show
The carnage is my teacher
The darkness is my guide
Wishing you a week of wisdom and strength,
Until next time,
Be well Do well Live well
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