Don’t keep your failures to yourself

Don’t keep your failures to yourself:
you and they will get lonely.
Share them with those who will listen
and then you and they can transform into joy.

Enjoy your failures as they appear
like waves approaching the shore
emerging perfectly formed from the sea;
like the moon emerging from behind a cloud
illuminating a golden road across the deep.

Celebrate the perfection of your failures
as heartily as your more mundane triumphs
and then you will double and redouble
the joy you bring into the world.



I wrote this near Aberdaron, on the Lleyn peninsula in North Wales. It’s on the theme of ‘non-discriminating wisdom’: if we can get ourselves out of the habit of automatically dividing our life up into opposites, and liking one, and disliking the other, then we may access a greater sense of wholeness, and, possibly, double the happiness. It’s very sound advice, and I could do with heeding it a bit more myself…

Here’s a description of how I came to write it:

On the Llyn for a week en famille and friends. Elemental winds and rain and clouds provide a perfect context. We look out on Aberdaron bay. Last night while others watched TV/films I went out into the evening, on to the beach and felt exquisitely melancholy in the empty village, till I nominated a sense of lonely failure as my secondary process, and then the world shifted as I did. Home on the hill looked warm and inviting, a perfect place to share the fruits that I had gathered.

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