There is nothing wrong with failure

I couldn’t remember my login information for an online yoga site with videos and tutorials. I inputted what I thought were my username and password, and a box highlighted in red came up with the words “Login failed” followed by a big, red X.

I know I keep getting more and more sensitive, but it was kind of alarming, especially coming from a site for yogis.

Good lord! I said to my friend, with whom I was attempting to share the website. That is quite an intense message.

I remembered my login and succeeded on the second attempt, and carried on with my morning.

I forgot all about being a failure until I took my husky for a walk through our neighborhood. We live in a part of Prescott, Arizona called the Granite Dells, so named for the large outcroppings of granite rocks that surround us.

Our neighborhood is a popular place for climbers, and puppy Naih and I happened upon a couple as we were walking.

One person was attached to a rope and climbing close to a wall of granite rock. On her head, she wore a white helmet.

She was talking to another person who sat on the trail below her, offering cues to help her.

We are very impressed, I called out.

You and the puppy? She asked.

Yes, she is just trying to get down there stairs.

Laughter from the climber.

Well, it’s always easier going up than down, she responded.

So true, I said, as puppy and I continued on our way.

As I tugged at puppy to continue walking with me, I heard the grounded partner say, You’ve got a good, firm grasp, and it’s a clean fall.

Wait, I thought. Was he giving her permission to fall?

I decided that he seemed to be doing just that. Such simple words, but the expression I found to be incredibly beautiful and touching. Perhaps, climbers become accustomed to falling? To survive, I imagine they must learn how to fall safely.

But how magical for it to be ok to fail.

As I walked along, I thought about how much I have learned from the unpleasant experiences of my life. It seemed that what might be deemed failure was the way I seemed to learn the most—management styles, different jobs, relationships, instruments, etc.

I have tried a lot of different things on for size and moved around a lot in search of success.

What about the phrase, If at first you don’t succeed? I don’t remember the word failure ever being included in that language. Perhaps, we should just stop using the word altogether?

Flagstaff Aspen

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