Let's just be honest with ourselves. No one is successful in every pursuit they make. In those times that our best efforts don't lead to the outcome we had hoped to obtain, we can feel as though we were not good enough. There may have been contributing factors to our failure such as lack of manpower or inadequate materials. Truthfully, sometimes failure comes because we had the right idea at the wrong time. Despite all of the explanations in the world, it becomes very easy to allow the blame for the project's failure to land squarely on our shoulders. That's never a good feeling.
Dealing with past failures can continue for many years as well. Sometimes a new failure brings to mind the pain of a past shortfall. A wayward comment can cause us to remember the frustration of a day gone by. Currently, social media is a major player in my personal feelings of past failings. I see repeated posts and photos about projects I was involved with in a previous life. I recall the frustration and pain of trying to do the important work when no one was willing to help. Now I see a team that is excited and working together. I watch the very ones who repeatedly met my pleas for help with resounding "no's" now jumping into the middle of the work. Quite simply, it's hard to watch because it makes me wonder what is wrong with me. Why were people so unwilling to help? Did I not deserve their help? Was I too demanding as a leader? Was I a weak leader they could not follow? Did they just not care? WHY? WHY? WHY?
Don't get me wrong. In the big scheme of things, I'm very happy to see that such important work has finally gotten the attention it deserves. I'm glad to see that things are flourishing. I just find myself feeling more and more like a failure. It makes me wonder if I was just "getting in the way" of real success for far too long. I wonder if these people ever stop to think how their posts might impact me......or if they even care.
Do I really believe that season of my life was a complete waste? Not entirely. I think I got caught in a terribly difficult time that caused lots of people to say "no." My superiors were either not aware of the issues or simply chose to turn a blind eye -- I don't guess I'll ever really know the answer to that one -- and I found myself doing the best I could in a crappy situation. I found myself fighting battles that couldn't be won because of destructive forces at work that attempted to wreak havoc on me personally, professionally, ministerally and spiritually. I was forced to push my hurt down so no one else would be offended -- never mind the fact that I had been terribly offended. Thankfully, I'm in a much better situation now in every area of my life than I was in those days, but the reality of those past failures still stings. Unfortunately, the trauma of that season of my life has resulted in my choice to no longer be actively involved in a similar leadership position. I just can't take the hatefulness that results in such positions any more. Now I just wonder if the hurt will ever completely heal. Things are better than they were.....but the ache and hurt is still very real.
This is definitely not what I expected to come from my keyboard when I sat down to write, but here it is. I feel certain that my future posts will not be quite as gloomy. But it's just another example of what is going on in my mind while I'm here just Livin' Life.