This monthly column is to help parents, grandparents, and teachers introduce children to spiritual topics in the context of prayer. It includes a prayer for adults, one for children and adults to share, and a short affirmation for children to remember and take with them.
Failure Is an Opportunity
Abraham Lincoln is sometimes credited with saying success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. Do you think Lincoln was implying we should feel happy about failing? Or was he encouraging us to use our failures as inspiration on the path to success?
Well, consider this:
Walt Disney was fired as a newspaper reporter because his editor said Disney “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went on to create the iconic Disney empire. Because of his failures when he was young, he never grew to be afraid of failure.
As hard as it is to believe, Theodor Seuss Geisel, famously known as Dr. Seuss, the much-loved children’s author, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers. He eventually sold more than 600 million copies of his books worldwide.
Publishers initially rejected J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories too. Currently one of the richest women in the world, she reassures us: “It is impossible to live without failing at something.”
The famous basketball player Michael Jordan recounts his career this way: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
So what can we learn from these and countless others who have experienced failure?
Just because we fail, it does not mean that we are a failure. Quite the contrary. Failing at something is the perfect opportunity to learn and improve. We can look for lessons with compassion in our hearts for ourselves and others. This helps us exercise our spiritual gift of divine wisdom, which functions as intuition, understanding, and inspiration. As we grow in wisdom, we become more spiritually in tune with the all-knowing Mind.
In those moments when things don’t go as we planned, we can take action to reawaken and uplift our consciousness to experience the presence of God. When we fail, rather than dwelling on thoughts that make us relive our emotionally charged feelings of lack or hurt, we can hold thoughts that move our souls to a higher and deeper understanding of God’s plan for our lives. We can move out of a sense of limitation and into a fearless faith that all things are working together for Good.
F.A.I.L. means Flawlessly Ascending in Life.
A Prayer for Overcoming Failure for All Children
We prayerfully center ourselves as we consciously acknowledge our oneness with each other and with Source. Collectively, we cleanse our minds of all toxic thoughts and belief in failure. Instead, we bask in the Truth and know that God’s perfect plan is always guiding our life experiences. The spirit of God now goes before us, making any difficult circumstance smooth and effortless. All crooked places become straight paths to our success and triumph. Together, we celebrate the gift of success, and we accept only those love-filled thoughts and divine ideas that keep us attuned to our Source.
A Shared Family Prayer for Overcoming Failure
Beloved child, made in the image and likeness of Spirit, you now let go of any negative thoughts and feelings about a situation that didn’t work out as you hoped. The divine presence within uplifts you, and your mind, body, and spirit are in perfect harmony and peace. You are filled with feelings of certainty, assurance, and discernment. You are free to experience the infinite love, joy, and success of Spirit.