We write about what we know. And personally, I know a lot about failure. As an artist and entrepreneur, I’ve always been a risk taker, but life doesn’t typically prepare us for when we fall.
Nearly a decade ago, a series of consecutive failures left me lost in life and lost in myself. It was a time of great fear and uncertainty, of depression, anxiety and shame, of sleepless nights and loneliness, of forgetting who I was and losing faith in my path and all confidence in my talent. And this went on and on for quite some time, until in not knowing what to do or where to turn, I had no choice but to give up.
Giving up is something that’s hard to do when you’ve invested everything in a dream. Time, Energy, Money. All I was left with was the feeling of failure.
That is, until I stepped back and offered myself some space in which to gain perspective. @@It took a great deal of time, contemplation, meditation and tears but eventually I was able to recognize that having failed didn’t mean that I was a failure.@@ All it meant is that project didn’t go the way I’d hoped. So it was time to let go of the dream I’d been holding onto and start anew.
And so I did the only thing I could. I created from exactly where I was, in the dark. I wrote a children’s book about failure and perfectionism and patience and self-compassion and all the things I most needed to remember.
And now, many years, after first self-publishing this book, and releasing it again with Wisdom Publications, I’m filled with gratitude. For @@when you know the darkest dark the smallest amount of light can mean the world.@@
So today I’m thankful that I was able to take a big deep breath and find the resilience to take one step after the next. I’m grateful I was able to figure out how to let go of what I was clinging to and humbly write and illustrate and self-publish a children’s book, which was no small feat when you know nothing about publishing a book. @@I’m thankful that I learned the lesson that self-worth does not equate achievement and that I am able to now share this lesson with children everywhere.@@
So in parting, if you don’t feel the sun shining down on you today, If there is darkness in your world, I hope that you can find a little inspiration in this story, remembering that @@you can only go halfway into the darkest forest, before you are coming out the other side.@@
About the Author
Tamara Levitt is the Head of Content and mindfulness instructor at Calm. She writes, narrates and produces our meditation sessions and some of our most beloved sleep stories. She is also an author, published with Wisdom publications.