Success and Failure

What is success and what is failure? This question has come up a lot lately, as we study the work of Raymond Charles Barker who wrote among many other books, The Power of Decision.

Have we failed when we end a marriage? Have we failed when our child decides to go down the road of drugs and alcohol? Are we successful because we have a beautiful home? Are we successful because we are working in a prestigious job? These are some of the ways that people define success and failure.

I perused the different dictionaries, and I could not find a definition of the words failure or success that didn’t relate to some outside occurrence or nonoccurence. I believe there is more to be known, and that identifying ourselves in terms of failure or success is very superficial indeed.

I, for one, have had many times in my life that I could measure myself as a success or a failure. I had a 27 year marriage that ended in a divorce = failure in the public eye. I graduated from college, completing a Masters program = success in the eyes of society. I didn’t make it as an actress in Los Angeles = failure. I am creating a successful Center for Spiritual Living on the Island of Kaua’i = success.

Do you get the idea? If we measure our lives by the things we accomplish or do not accomplish and then label ourselves success or failure, I believe we are putting ourselves in a constant state of using a worldly measuring tape that can only lead us to forming our self-worth by what society believes about us. Perhaps, this is what our youth struggle with daily, and more so lately in the field of education and the pressure put on them by their peers, parents and the education system. Could this be why the suicide rate within our young people is rising? Could this be why substance addiction is running rampant throughout humankind?

There is an answer, and you cannot be measured. We all have the capability to live successful lives and there is no such thing as a failure. There merely is a failure to act successfully, which comes from an identity crisis rising from within the very soul of each and every one of us. When we do not believe we are worthy, we act from a place of unworthiness. We choose those things that give us back more of the same – reasons to feel unworthy. We fail to know who we truly are.

I speak for myself, and as I do my own life review, I know that the things I have done that I might consider a success or a failure are merely, me in the process of evolution. The clearer choices I have made that came from my true, authentic self, filled with self-esteem and love for myself and a desire to live as an example of that love, have set me on the path of what I consider success. It hasn’t been the easiest path in regards to gaining public approval, but it has been a true path. The times I’ve fallen off this path are the times when I have not listened to the voice within me that was pulling me in another direction, where I didn’t have the courage to go. Even that was not a failure, because it was merely me without the sufficient spiritual knowledge to know any better.

There is something called spiritual evolution. If we choose this path, it is taking us within and it is asking us to be authentic, to stop the measuring by conditions, time and space, and instead to live a self-empowered life backed by love of self, leading to love of others. This call is creating a world utopia of people going where their hearts lead them. Some call it “A World that Works for Everyone.” Some call it “For the Good of the Whole.”

There is an energy that is increasing its velocity and speed that is lifting the world, not by how much we can accomplish materialistically, but by our own awakening. I call it Ascension. It has nothing to do with success or failure, but it has everything to do with the courage to express our Divine Purpose as individuals. It is not a final target. It is a journey that is eternal and always spiraling upward.

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita


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