Fuckups and The Art of Failing
Dear Elia and Lean.
I just started writing a text about fuckups and the art of failing. As I started writing it, I immediately knew what was wrong. I made the mistake of thinking I could write about something real in general ways.
You are still very small boys, yet you are already exploring your human potential in fantastic and curious ways. I can’t say I know where you came from, but I imagine it to be limitless, and full of possibility. Now you are here, with us, in a limited world, or so it seems.
Your mum and I have started what will probably go on for the rest of your life. People will tell you how wrong you are. They, and we, will say that you’re not good enough and that whatever you’re imagining is not real or possible. We will teach you that there’s such a thing as right and wrong, and that right is better than wrong. We will even teach you that you are better when you do right than when you do wrong.
I know it sounds crazy. And the fact that I teach you these things hurts me more than you can imagine. This is also part of being human. We do things we don’t want to do. Why? I guess it’s because we’re feeling helpless and afraid. Helplessness and fear hurts, and since whatever hurts must be wrong and not right, we try to cover it all up by doing more things we don’t want to do.
My goodness, what is this place, anyway? What have I brought you into?
A guy who used to walk the planet like we do now, once said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. I think he was onto something. As you see already, we don’t really know what we’re doing. We’re helpless and clueless and we fuck up for eachother and ourselves and we feel really, really bad about it. But, as this guy said, we can also forgive eachother for it.
My dear boys, forgiveness is such a cool human concept. I think the best explanation of forgiveness is to love eachother, regardless what we do. Because of all these weird things we teach you, you will find yourself in situations later on in life where you feel like you fucked up. You will feel like you failed and you will probably even feel that you are a failure. This is where forgiveness can play first violin. To forgive oneanother is one thing, but my hope for you is that you can always forgive yourself. You won’t always know what you do, and you can forgive and love yourself for it. It hurts, and it brings you forward, or backward, it doesn’t really matter. What matters it that it brings you closer in touch with your experience of yourself, with you, who you really are, beyond all those rights and wrongs.
And here’s the thing: There isn’t really such a thing as failure. No matter how hard you try, you cannot fuck up. You can think and feel that you do, and through that experience it as real, but it isn’t, not really.
I wanted to write a text about fuckups and the art of failing and it became a letter to you, to my Elia and Lean. I love you so incredibly much and it makes me so happy to see that you love yourself, too. In fact, I think it’s essentially impossible not to love ourselves, but I think it’s very possible to forget that we do. My dear friends, whatever you do, please don’t forget!
Go out there now my boys, play and explore! Run through the forrests and up on the hills, swim in the lakes and gaze at the stars! Fall on your face, my friends, fall and fall and get up again. Fail and learn and fuck up all you can, and forgive yourself again and again. And then, in the midst of it all, when you’re grown men running around in a landscape of stories, please just stop for a moment. Take a breath. Look at the flowers, let them look at you.
I know it sounds crazy. But it’s so beautiful too! Always search for beauty, and it surely will find you.
With so much love —
your father (happily fucking things up!).