“Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is” – Master Yoda
The high-level message of ‘learn from your mistakes’, and ‘all failures are learning opportunities’ is embedded in this quote from Yoda. Of course, we need to attempt things and fail at things to develop mastery of them so it follows that only failure can lead to success. Failure is thus, the ultimate teacher. But the failure Yoda is talking about, in this context, is catastrophic failure. The 350-mph car crash into a wall that you are not meant to walk away from, but somehow do.
The holy trinity of weakness, folly and failure are indeed the greatest teachers I have ever encountered and for reasons that are still revealing themselves to me. At first, they bring about humiliation, remorse and shame which translates into true humility and willingness that serves as the catalyst to change whatever maladaptive mental construct that got me to drive my car into a wall at 350-mph in the first place. But the event itself isn’t the lesson, it is just what the Universe used to get me into the classroom.
Catastrophic failure often comes with catastrophic consequences and punishments. Loss of employment, loss of reputation, loss of dignity, loss of wealth, loss of family and even loss of freedoms. And sometimes all of them combined. This becomes the crucible of higher learning but there is a catch - it requires Faith.
It requires a leap of faith that a benevolent Universe and a loving God are the backdrop to all events in my life. Everything that happens, is for my benefit and my growth.
I came to believe this is true.
The spiritual secret, that I want to pass on, is that the consequence from the failure is the teaching. The teaching is in what comes after the failure and not the failure itself (it just got you there). The nature of the consequences is irrelevant, and the circumstances do not matter, it only matters how I relate to them. It doesn’t matter if they appear overly harsh, punitive, or unjust because they are given to me for MY development and is exactly what I need. This is how the Universe works. Whatever it is I am given, I accept that it is what I needed. My only job is to surrender into it, open my heart wide and stop resisting. I need to stop fighting anyone or anything because why would I when this is all for my benefit. I just need to love everyone and trust. This understanding was a long process, and it may be a challenge to accept unless you have been through it.
Much like the other movie sage, Morpheus, said, “there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”. I am walking this path of surrender and gratitude and it is taking me to a joyous place that is available everyone if they are open to it. When you drive into that wall, just embrace what happens next.
Love, Forgiveness and Service