Tears In My Ears: A Conversation of Failure and Honesty

  • Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Spring 2013, Volume 20, Issue 1
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Have you ever been left, fired, failed, or shunned?  If so, you may have wondered what’s wrong with “them” or wonder what’s wrong with you. It is hard to have an honest conversation about “fault” when you’re hurting.

We need more than an “is it me or them” review in these circumstances.   Facing a myriad of questions and answers is how we grow.

At the Center for Family Healing, one of our foundational verses is Psalm 51:6: “…You (God) desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” (NAS)

The thing about defeat is that, after the major grief of it, how we understand life is shaken and questions arise.  If these questions are put to God with an openness to receive answers, learning comes in ways not possible when all is well and safe in life.

In many ways we learn best in the context of woundedness. At these times we learn in the deep places not reachable before the hurt.  In the pain of failure, looking for a way through is healthy.  In the stark loneliness of woundedness, new vision and behavior is possible to help us in the future…if we will allow it.

For example, we may learn we aren’t as smart as we often thought.  As a result, we might be open to ways to increase our perceptions and insights.  We may learn we are not as “bad” as we thought we were. As a result we might become more open, secure, and trusting to receive God’s love.  We may learn to listen to God and others in ways we have been ignoring. We might even learn to ask for God and others to be honest with us about our successes and failures, both in an individual sense and in relationship to others.

Too many times we experience a crash and simply say to ourselves that we can’t wait until the pain passes. A more difficult but more productive stance than waiting for the pain to go away is to ask what assumptions and behaviors in you have been faulty.

If we can learn to be honest and ask ourselves, others, and most of all God, what we are missing, we may not have to hit that particular wall of loss again.  If we do have to go through a similar loss again, we may not have to go to the depth of despair we originally felt if we learn from it.

Being honest “in the inward parts” is to be open to the wisdom God will give.  This wisdom sometimes comes quickly and sometimes not so quickly, but it all has a result of laying the whole experience of loss before Him. Then, invite Him in to every last part of it.  Invite Him in to process it with you early: Early as in the middle of the night after it happens, when tears are running into your ears.  This will be a great start.  Yet there is more: Invite Him in when the grief of it subsides.  Invite Him in when you become angry about it.  Invite Him in when you are beating yourself up with it.  Invite Him in when you have remorse for your part in it.  Invite Him in when you are eventually grateful it happened.

By honestly seeking, with God’s help, the many layers of how we got to the loss and how we might recover from it, we find wisdom:  the kind of wisdom no person can shake, the kind of wisdom that does not fail or leave you.



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