failure is as failure does

Do you believe in failure? What do you believe about it?

I've always thought that those people who say they don't believe in failure were just trying to cover up or ignore mistakes they had made. "There's no such thing as failure." Well, really? You sure? Because I could point out where you definitely failed. Please, allow me. 

I saw this quote on an Instagram post today: "Failure is a part of life-not just business. Almost every successful person we admire has experienced some type of failure, but their failure becomes a big part of their future success." So says Jonathan Levine to the Great Discontent. So say I? I might have six months ago, but I'm not so sure anymore, because for the last four months I've been lambasting myself for my failures. Here's the list I've often recited:

1. Depression.

2. Neglecting to seek real treatment for depression.

3. Quitting my first real job because I neglected to seek real treatment for depression and anxiety.

4. Allowing myself to fantasize the idea of suicide. More than once. (Disclaimer: I never attempted anything, but I got damn close.)

5. Thinking I don't need help-from family, friends, professionals.

6. Retreating away from people who would have helped me. Retreating away from God. Indulging Satan's whispers of lies and believing them. 

7. Thinking I could handle everything, every problem by myself.

That's seven failures that really only scratch the surface of what I have recited to myself for months, or even years, on end. But through grace upon endless grace, I can look at that list and feel free of blame. It doesn't have to be a list of failures. It can just be a list. A list of facts, of experiences, of days, of truths. These things will determine a lot of my future, and that's okay. They'll become a part of my future success, even if I find that success after I die.

So no, I don't think I believe in failure. I don't have grand illusions of being a revolutionary with this line of thinking. Edison found 99 ways not to make a lightbulb, right? This is not new, but it is freedom, a daily freedom that I can recite to myself. I didn't fail. There has always been a plan for me and these were all parts of that plan. I don't think I deviated from the Plan of Me, the Plan of Catherine. I deviated from what I thought was the Plan of Me. Failure isn't real. Failure is finding out that you didn't have the current update of the plan. Failure is mistaking future ideas for future guarantees. So in that way I failed, but in the real way, I was just walking towards someone else's future, mistaking it for my own. I've been plucked up by the One who is really in charge and placed back on the trail where I'm being led forward one pace at a time. And that's good enough for me.