failure brings us together

I see that failure has it's many lessons.

When I fail I am brought closer to the hearts of others.

There's a woman writing a lot about how we should work in the world, her name is Brene Brown, a lot of people follow her work.

She talks about "daring greatly" and she talks about "rising strong".

She says that life is an arena and you are either struggling in the arena of life or your are observing and critiquing from the grandstand.

If you're in the arena and struggling you are sometimes falling on your face in the dirt.

It's when you have to get up, in front of everyone, after you have made your terrible failure, that you really face your fears.

"Rising strong" means you stand back up in the arena with the dirt on your face and you deal with the aftermath of your failure.

You apologize, you accept defeat, you continue to try, you interact with those you harmed or hurt or affected by your errors.

You also see the others who have fallen, who have dared greatly, who have hurt and been hurt, and who have stood again and found a way to carry on with their dreams.

My daughter Ava is going through struggles of her own, at twenty-seven, and she's decided that a lot of her problems stem from the way I treated her when she was growing up and I was raising her and my other two children. My kids are all from the same father, and they're all only a few years apart in age. They were all raised in the same way. Ava is the only one who feels so much resentment towards me. 

My own mother wasn't always the best mom, and I've been very hard on her about it for years. 

Now, I feel a complete change of heart about my mom.

She's eighty-four and she's awesome.

I'm super proud of her for all she's done and for all that she is.

And I can only remember the good things now.

Ava has given me the great gift of humility about being a mother.

I wasn't perfect.

My mom wasn't either.

But now I can see my mother with compassion because I know what it feels like to have your daughter tell you you were a lousy mother.

I will never tell my mother anything but good things from now on.

And I will walk in the world humbled that even with parenting, which I thought was the one thing I did really well, I was unable to fully see how my actions might have been hurting those I loved most.

Humble and kind is the only answer.

If you keep it low and small you don't have as far to fall and it's not as hard to stand back up in the arena with the dirt on your face.

And if you fall over and over, and you just keep getting up again and dusting yourself off again, and you support the others in the arena who are giving it the real effort, then all will be well.

One of the reasons I'm playing so many shows right now is that I can't seem to get my fill of trying to perform in a way that is gratifying to myself and others.

My performances have flaws.

I am learning to smooth out some of these flaws so that people can see and hear what my vision is, what I'm trying to do.

But along with the striving to do well comes the inevitable mistakes and failures.

I am aware that as more people take my shows seriously, and as more people come to my shows with the expectation of having a positive experience for themselves, I feel more pressure to do well.

I'm experiencing a fear of success right now.

I catch myself thinking about my high notes, wondering if I'm going to get them right.

I wan't doing that a year ago when no one really knew what the hell I was doing including me.

I was just letting it fly.

Last night at my show I didn't hit my high notes on one song.

I was really shocked. It was like my worst fear came true.

My voice was fine, I wasn't sick, the sound was great, the people were nice.

I had no reason to miss the notes, and in fact, what I did was like an overcorrection problem.

I actually over sang, in a moment of fear, I psyched myself out and over reached and sang the highest note sharp and then warbled to try to get the correct pitch and then sort of laughed it off.

I sang the rest of the song fairly well.

I didn't start crying or run off the stage.

I talked to some fans afterwards about how my mind is starting to worry about consistent excellence, about how I'm afraid that with more attention or more acclaim I might start being too worried and not be able to perform well.

One smart and nice person said, "that's a good problem to have."

I agree, and I will conquer my fear if I just keep going and keep dusting myself off.

Perfection is impossible and unnecessary.

I don't want to sit on the sidelines, I want to stay in the arena and keep trying.

Get out in the world and makes some big messy mistakes today.

I'll be right there with you.

This is how we're going to save the world, one mistake at a time, with small humble efforts, shoulder to shoulder.

This is how we're going to save the world.

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