The aftermath here is the time after one has faced a particular outcome that wasn’t expected or preferred in relation to something that we were investing ourselves to create. That can be a particular project that doesn’t gain as much traction as expected, a job that we get fired from, a relationship that didn’t work out, a health problem that limits our abilities in certain ways, the death of a loved one… all of those situations that are part of our lives are the ones that we usually tend to get more ‘stung’ by in the sense of feeling discouraged and beaten down from what is seen or perceived as a failure, as a loss, as a ‘having to start over’ moment, as something that we invested on so much of ourselves but simply didn’t add up to the expected result.
It is quite common to feel defeated, to go into thoughts of considering that we’ve wasted our money, time and effort, that it all was ‘for nothing’ and then starting to close down to the consideration of trying it out again, of starting over a business, starting a new project or finding new ways to support ourselves physically on the face of illness or disease. We usually tend to see these unfavorable outcomes as a really bad thing to happen to us, but one thing that I’ve found most supportive is to recognize and – as I’ve been sharing lately – ‘own our creation’ all the way from beginning to end.
This has assisted me to be able to stand up and through the whole unraveling of a particularly ‘unfavorable outcome’ and learning to see it with the eyes of ‘I created this, I can learn from what didn’t work out, I can stand up again and create myself again, not give up on myself’
The experience of ‘giving up’ seems to be a ‘default tantrumy setting’ for ourselves in these situations, wherein let’s say we don’t get a desired outcome from a business venture and one can go into the extremes of saying ‘Ah, I’ll never again open my own business again, I’m done!’ or if one fails with a particular project, one tends to go into ideas of ‘I should not have even done that, what a waste of time, I’m never going to do such a thing again, such a failure!’ and in terms of relationships failing or having to part ways, one can go into thoughts like ‘I knew I should have never stepped into that relationship, I knew it was going to be a problem, I’m never going to go into a relationship again’ and we tend to be pessimistic within it all which I have also had a tendency before to do, which is why here today I share how this is not how it has to be.
The aftermath of these situations is actually a key moment for self-reflection, to first of lay out for ourselves our creation, see in self-honesty who we have been throughout the whole creation of the relationship, project, venture etc. then write out and self-forgive the judgments, the blame, the sense of ‘giving up’ on oneself in that particular aspect of our lives – or sometimes even wanting to give up on life entirely – because in those usually tough moments we tend to see everything through a thick fog of ‘lostness’ and ‘confusion’ and ‘despair’ and that’s precisely, right there, where that potential of ourselves as that willingness to stand up and take responsibility has to emerge. It won’t be an ‘automatic’ thing to happen either, it takes an actual decision to not go into emotional victimization to whatever went wrong or bad in our lives and first own our creation: I did this, I created this, I participated in it from beginning to end, therefore I assume the consequences/outcome of it.
Now here one thing that has assisted me a lot is to focus on what I’ve learned from the ‘failure’/mistake/problem/outcome’ and focus on what my participation throughout It all was. Sometimes things are entirely moved and created by ourselves, but some other times we have to work in teams to create something. If that’s so, blaming another for something not working out will only lead us down the path of seeing others as the problem, instead of focusing on ourselves. This is where the equilibrium comes wherein upon me recognizing, admitting and owning my creation, my part in the situation, I can at the same time then assist others to look at it as well within that same starting point, without any hidden agendas like an attempt to blame or accuse, because in that moment I understand the importance of sticking to seeing ‘my responsibility’ and my participation – or the lack thereof – in something that I had invested myself to create or get to work in along with others whose participation also counts in it, and so seeing the conjoined creation as a sum of individuals’ responsibility.
This makes the whole aftermath process easier because I can then review all of my decisions in the creation that I ended up ‘failing’ at and stand with each one of them, understanding how in the moment that I made them I trusted myself, I gave it my all, I can be clear that I did push to change things within me to make it all more effective, I know where I wasn’t giving it my 100%, I can clearly see where and how I compromised myself, what I could have changed but didn’t get to it and the ways in which I also did assist others to do the same as part of the team or project.
This is how even when the outcome is unfavorable or unexpected, one can stand in one’s two feet and stand with one’s creation: with what one did – or didn’t do – what one pushed to change and do – or didn’t change or do – what one invested on time, effort, money on – or where it all lacked – and so make of this whole ‘failure’ situation a time for a personal review where we can see where our weaknesses existed and take note of them so that one can work through it. And at the same time also acknowledging where we got to strengthen ourselves, to expand, to learn new things about ourselves and others, which regardless of the outcome of things, will always be there in any creation process, alone or with others.
Therefore, a strong suggestion is to not allow oneself to go down misery lane upon facing a particular outcome, a problem, point of failure, bankruptcy, relationship breakup, health problem, loss of a loved one or anything that we might perceive in our lives as a ‘failure’, a loss or an obstacle – these are moments where we can open up in self-reflection, looking back at who we have been and learn from it, also to be able to stand with our creation, owning our deeds and their outcomes.
Here then why I’ve been placing ‘failure’ with these quotes is because this is a loaded word where we usually can experience it as a complete ‘drain’ of all of our life force and feel like we won’t ever get back up again from it – but if we learn to see a failure as one shot, one opportunity, one way, one path that we walked through with all of our being and intent to make it work, and regardless of it all we still discover that we’re not leading ourselves to the outcome we wanted to create for ourselves, then that’s where it’s best to stop going any further, go back to the drawing board and create another way.
Sometimes I’ve seen how specially in relationships, we tend to want to keep walking the same path out of fear losing the person in the relationship or fearing the outcomes from separating from another, but we only know that if over time we have tested something out sufficiently and still we’re seeing the same problems emerge, it’s best to not prolong the ‘testing time’ and rather start focusing on changing paths and learning from what didn’t work out on both parties. This I’ve found is more honorable as well, where we don’t keep walking a lie, where we have the courage to stop a point of deception for oneself and for another and everyone else involved in it, because that’s how we also prevent further consequences and at the same time shorten the time to face our creation, instead of doing so further down the road where more people, more time, more resources have been invested into something.
Here I also have learned from Bernard Poolman, a mentor and friend to myself, how no matter how many times his business failed and had to go through the whole point of ‘losing it all’, he kept at it, eventually succeeding in what he wanted to create. This perseverance, this continuity and dedication to creating something – along with the responsibility it entails – is definitely something I can learn from and integrate into my life so that I know, no matter how ‘bad’ things get in our lives, in our projects or relationships, no matter how ‘bleak’ the outcome may seem, one can still decide to stand up from the failure, the loss, the ‘breakup’ and learn from it, get back on one’s own two feet to then start planning the next step in our creation, mostly being wiser, if we learn well from our mistakes, mostly stronger – if we realize that what we feared facing and eventually ended up having to face didn’t ‘kill us’ but in fact wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be.
This is the kind of self-trust that we always have and can stand as in our lives in difficult moments or situations where we feel it as “the end of our world”, but it’s not so if we decide to not give into all the depression and emotional aftermath and instead create a constructive aftermath, a time for personal reflection, self-forgiveness, self-introspection to see what we did or didn’t do and so, start paving the way to get back on our own two feet and continue walking the same path or a new path, it’s up to us, we decide, we are our creators.
Thanks for reading
Suggested support from Eqafe.com