What am I talking about? Career choices? Finances? Relationships? Happiness? My life has kind of come to a standstill in all of those areas. It’s hard to break free of my fear of failure, and so I have given in to inertia. I don’t attempt to do things, even things that I have been successful at in the past. And yet that lack of action is, in itself, a form of failure. I am failing to even try.
So how am I going to bring my ideas to reality? Where do I begin? The answer lies, in part, in realizing that there is no such thing as a “complete” failure. Any attempt I make is a success in trying.
For starters, I’m not really talking about career and money and relationships, because I can’t visualize what I want in those areas. Ultimately, in life, what I want is contentment. I am wise enough to know that contentment doesn’t necessarily come from climbing the corporate ladder to a six figure income, or from finding a mate, or from winning the lottery. And I know that I could theoretically find contentment in my life right now without changing a thing. But I’m not there yet, and even so, there are twenty-four hours a day and seven billion people to contend with and a physical body to maintain, and as long as I am in this physical form, I have to participate with life on some level. So I have to decide what to do with myself.
But rather than trying to figure out the big picture, I’m beginning with something much more concrete than the concepts I listed above. I’m going to build a stained glass panel. In the process, I’m hoping to learn about myself and gain insight into those other areas. The parallels between constructing a stained glass panel and constructing my future are endless.
I’m going to create a pattern, select the glass in colors that are pleasing to me, cut and shape the pieces, and fit them together to form a panel, a whole that – while maybe not “greater” than the sum of its parts – will give me a sense of accomplishment, will be something of beauty (I hope) to look upon, and will give me pleasure in the simple act of creativity. And as I fit together the pieces of glass, maybe I will begin to piece together some greater aspects of my life. Maybe at some point, as with the glass, I will be able to hold my life up to the light of day and see a vibrancy shining through in hues that I could hardly begin to imagine. And with that, maybe I will be content.
So bring on the Band-Aids. I’m going to break some glass.