Failing successfully

Lys Lily Wild
3 min readOct 11, 2021


My journey over the cancer seas and beyond

Tonight I was opened to the idea that failure in and of itself is so much more. That it sits in the place outside of who we are or perceive ourselves to be. It is a place of shared failure, that consorts along a line of ancestry, whispering the ways in which we can be undone with our familial traits. Or the tendencies and ways of being that echo within the cells of a dis-eased internal system. Or even a generation of failures layered like bodies stacking up in a plague pit. Failure is as big and as small as we perceive within our world view. What failure is not is entirely our own.

Its absurd and yet very compelling line of thought to understand that our failures are our treasures. Or as Bayo Akomolafe says we are “Learning by failing into new dimensions of becoming.’’ This is a topic close to my heart at the moment, at this time of turning into a new phase. After and yet before. Here I have been sitting feeling my failures darkly. Nursing them quietly and stubbornly and never realising the glory they can offer me if only I would give them air.

There are many failures I could list with regards to my own life. The most obvious being about having had a cancer this year and thus my failure to live up to the ridiculous standard of being seen as a pillar of health. And yet in the context of this most excellent questioning I find I can sit with both the failure and the understanding that it is bigger than ever I could be. To fail requires a context and a success to be levelled against. At least that is what I believed. Now I see that failure can rest as it is and be gathered in as a harvest from the late grown field of one’s life. A place to be nourished and a place to learn.

Oh would it be that we could see ourselves as others see us. For in this the failures I have seen in me are grand achievements of a life well lived if I were to believe the reports of those around me. And in this I believe there is some merit. To take that time to re frame our experience of ourselves in the context of our place in the whole, our connectedness and our uniqueness. To see ourselves as others do, would be I think, to see our failures in a different light.

From this stance there is a chance for me to step up to my health situation and paradoxically offer more respected depth as a health practitioner. This questioning lends better context with which I can expand my expression and my nature as a service giver. As opposed to contracting into a sense of failing to maintain my own body balance and therefore not trusting I can hold others. And the beauty is that this concept can be applied to every aspect of life. What a relief.

There is a glimmer of light in my ongoing questioning about who I am post cancer treatments. Enough for me to see the value in what I brought to the table before this life changing event. There is more journeying and uncovering to be done, but I am thankful to have navigated this internal conflict to a suitable place of peace. I have succeeded in my failures if only for today.