I adore poetry. In recent years as more irreverent works have been shared with me, the more I love "digging into" creatively edgy material.
This week, a few choice lines did that wonderful thing so few do, they made me pause and reread the fabulous line again, and again. Like the first bite of a decadent piece of chocolate cake, lines like those just make me want more. More depth of understanding. More wondering what the writer wished to convey when they wrote the line. Were they thinking about it as I do or is the real beauty in the subtle shadings of individuals reading the works? Always keeping the original a sort of enigma.
I've decided to share one line that caught my attention, as it elicited an audible "Oh Snap!" and that's always a good thing, at least as far as I'm concerned.
The line was this "And understand that you will never be a success in the eyes of a failure."
This line initially made me think about how often we try so flipping hard to please certain people in our lives. From our parents to our co-workers, our partners to our family members, this idea of "just being nice", "keeping the peace" or not wishing to "make waves" can churn-up some serious "undertow" if we don't get a clue about how these ways of being can destroy parts if not all of us, in the end.
The second thing this line made me think about is the word "failure." With regards to the line in the piece, I didn't see a "failure" as the "failure of an entire human being" although I guess one could place that label on another. What I took it as was that this being could be a "failure" in one specific area, for example, maybe your dad provided financially but was absent emotionally. Maybe your mother was a loving soul but couldn't finish a doggone thing she started. Perhaps your boss makes things happen but you feel like a number, simply a means to an end. See where I'm going with this?
These people whose opinions matter to us, in some cases, may not be very "successful" in pivotal areas of life, yet they seem to hold you to a "fantasy standard" they have never achieved themselves. No matter, they expect you to rise to the occasion, time and time again but you're never quite good enough. You never quite "hit the mark." You're never completely worthy of whatever it is they "hang" over your head.
So you go back, time and again metaphorically speaking, on your knees saying "Please Baby, Please!" accept me, validate me, hear me, see me, understand me, stay with me, love me, when they are incapable of ever deeming you "successful." Don't you see that? Yet you look up to them from your knees, waiting for that elusive approval.
What's my point? This, because I've been there. Begin by looking at the people in your life that you have worked to please. Who you know you alter what you say to, how you say it, the tone in which you speak it and on and on just so you don't "cause trouble." Then ask yourself how "successful" they've been in the role you have them perched on the proverbial pedestal in. Are they really the "final say" in whether your perceive yourself as successful or not? Really? The final say?
When you understand and live to the standard that the only approval you need is your own, you'll find getting off your knees to stand up straight and tall, a much easier task. This then will allow you the opportunity to take the hand of someone, be it a partner, friend, co-worker or family member, standing just as tall, by your side, choosing to walk an authentic journey along with you. Someone who already sees you as a success.
Oh and Baby?
They always did.