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Dream Big. Live Big. Fail Big. Recover Big.

Success-Through-FailureMy best friend, Kristin, and I, live on parallel tracks. Everything that happens to her, something eerily similar happens to me. It has been like this for YEARS. Raising teen/young adult children, divorce, career, real estate…..we seem to live parallel lives and we constantly make note of it.

Everything is better when Kristin’s here. Whatever she says, you can take to the bank. She’s smart, and organized, and everyone loves her. She has a systems brain, and she doesn’t tell me 100 reasons why I can’t do my BIG PLAN OF THE MONTH. She just helps me do it.

Today we texted each other, simultaneously, “Parallel tracks!” We’ve had a similar 2013. She’d texted me this statement that resonated so much, I wrote it with a Sharpie on a 4×6 card and pinned it to my corkboard that I see every day.

Who makes a goal to FAIL BIG?

People who DREAM BIG do! Okay, maybe they don’t make a GOAL to fail. But at some point, people who play big just ACCEPT that failure comes with success, and they use it as a tool.

Dream BigHere is a song by Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band. They’re a local band who made it big on the pop charts as a one-hit wonder, with this song, Dream Big. I have loved this song for many years and am listening to it while I write this to you. So you can dream big with me.

To me, dreaming big isn’t necessarily making up big wild plans. It’s thinking on what the greatest use of your life is, and BEING IT. By taking as many small steps that direction as possible, every day. Living fearlessly. Being consistent about who you are and manifesting it—in all the ways you run your life.

Leveraging all the painful things in your life as opportunities for learning. Accepting them. Just embracing and loving the process of becoming. Not slowing down just because painful failures happen. Giving the pain points the attention they’re due, and no more. That’s what “Dream Big” means to me. How about you?

“When you see, see the beauty, all around and in yourself.”

“When you pray, pray for strength, to help you carry on, for when troubles come your way.”

–Ryan Shupe, Dream Big

When I was in grad school, I studied marriage and family therapy, with human sexuality / sex therapy as an emphasis. My original career goal was to be a marriage therapist. It seems like I should say something, right here, kind of apologetic or embarrassed or qualified–about how inappropriate it would be for a broken divorcee to counsel any married people.

But it isn’t those who have sailed through life without challenges who are the most empathetic therapists. In fact, there was a theory in the world of the helping professions, when I was a grad student and practitioner, of the “wounded healer.” We studied scholarly work on the idea that those who have been wounded have the most to offer those others, among us, who are wounded.

Does this feel true to you? That broken people have tokens to offer others on the path to wholeness?

always make mistakes windowPlease don’t let your failures become an excuse to fail. I choose for mine to be instructive. (Even though occasionally I scream and rant, for a minute, and my friends have to listen to it.) I’m still going to minimize them, and holy cow, I’m not going to wish some of the stuff I’ve been through on my worst enemy. But nobody gets to their 40′s without living through SOME STUFF.

(Insert another word for STUFF, if you prefer. This is a G-rated blog. Although I’m not editing the PG-rated quote coming up.)

Kristin texted me today, another quotable quote about the truly epic failures she and I have both had this year:

“Look at how that ass-kicking gave me epic growth and stretching and personal power and tolerance and compassion for broke people and and and and. NEXT! (We won’t make these same mistakes again, right?)”

[Well said. I got nothing to add. NEXT! And no--I intend to make lots more mistakes. But they will be different ones.]

Welcome, 2014. Bring it.