There was a beautiful phrase running through my head yesterday, amidst the blackened spot of some major failure on my part at work.
To backtrack, I did something that was a seemingly harmless risk, that ended up being, well…..really stupid and having a terrible outcome and resulting consequences. Now I have to face the music and accept responsibility for my mistake.
I won’t get into details, but at the time of the mistake, I just couldn’t believe what I’d done and just so wish I could go back in time and do it all over again, do the right thing. It also seemed to have happened at just the wrong time in my life (as I was also already facing some very intense personal difficulty) and I didn’t feel any good reason for this situation and everything else I was facing to happen all at once, it felt like an emotional “perfect storm”. Even though it was something I did, it just felt it all was so unfair that things had to turn out the way they did since a lot of it was beyond my control–I honestly felt like I completely hit rock bottom.
After this experience I came to the realization that:
I have a hard time making mistakes and coping with the aftermath–I try so hard to avoid them because I hate the repercussions that usually come with failure and it usually seems so negative. I know it’s not the recipe to be a “winner”. From what I’ve read we’re supposed to treat success and failure in the same, with the same openness to learn and grow from both. In reality, that is easier said than done, and for most of my life I’ve struggle with the “failure part” and learning how to handle failing.
I think for me personally one of the hardest things to deal with, is self failure. Especially when it’s almost completely my fault and the situation could have been avoided (though these things are easier to see in hindsight). I have such a hard time forgiving myself when I do something wrong and especially so, when it causes pain or hurt or difficulty to someone else–as mistakes so often do.
So back to my story, after making a really stupid mistake that I know I’ll have hell to pay for over the next while. I was driving back home, feeling so low and so useless. I was berating myself for my total stupidity, and not having an ounce of mental or emotional strength left in me. I kept thinking and hoping that I’d wake up from it all and it would be different and the troubles would be gone, that it was just a dream but then that made me feel even more miserable when I realized that would not happen. I felt so bad. that when I arrive back to my house, I just sat in my car for about 20 minutes, outside the gate not wanting to do anything, see anybody or talk to anyone, just sitting there blank and discouraged.
All of a sudden at the moment when I had pretty much reached the depths of my despair and discouragement this quote pops into my head that just gives me this incredible boost. It was something that gave me the faith and courage to keep on going in spite of everything I was facing. I’m going to write it below real big and hope you’ll remember it in case you reach a stage in your life where you feel you’ve reached your rock bottom. I hope it will be an encouragement to you as it was for me. The quote was:
You’re never so near the top, as when you’ve hit rock bottom!
Don’t exactly know where it’s from or if I read somewhere, if it was a mixture of different sayings, or if I just made it up myself but that thought gave me an instantaneous surge of encouragement when I needed it most. Really, I couldn’t have gone any lower at the time and thinking back at that point there was only one way to go and that was back up. The thought that this personal situation might end up propelling my spirit instantly to the top, or at least headed back up– gave me hope I so desperately needed. It kinda reminded me of another quote that I heard with a similar meaning which said something to the affect of “God’s way up, is down!”.
If you look throughout history you will find so many examples of people who had terrible things done to them or made terrible mistakes and after hitting rock bottom in their lives, they didn’t give up, they just took the situation from where they were, rose above it, kept fighting and often went on to do bigger, better and greater things. Their low point was almost a necessary stage for better things, or like a catalyst that started something better in the long run, brought them closer to God, taught them important lessons and usually ended up spring boarding them back to heights higher than they had ever gone before.
So to any out there, who might be feeling overwhelmed and like you’ve hit one of your own “rock bottom” times or epic failure moments in your life: Read the quote, repeat it too yourself and keep on believing that either the situation will eventually resolve itself out and that God will help you turn that trouble in your life into something good one day. Turn it into a victory out of seeming defeat. This momentary low or bottoming out can (if you keep believing) enable you to go on to bigger, better and greater things. God loves you and is always there with you!
Hope that helps someone. –Keep on believing!
25/05/2008 PS: It was interesting for me to reread this post and then think about where I’ve been and what I’ve learned since then. I’d want state for the record that the situation did pass over. It didn’t come to stay–“it came to pass” and I was able to learn many important life lessons through it and I did go on to better things…in hindsight I can look back and thank God that he didn’t allow me to stay there stuck in “rock bottom” but made a way out. God bless!