My friend Tom tells me that the Sufi’s ideal throughout life is the realization of God and his perfection. After the Sufi realizes this ideal he cannot say, “I can’t tolerate or
or endure anybody.” He also cannot act, think, or feel unless it is right. I fail on both counts. Whether I say it loud or just think, there are some people I have trouble enduring, and I certainly have found myself like St. Paul knowing how to act, but doing the opposite. I was pleased to hear that the Sufis fail to reach their ideal as well, but I like their attitude when they do fail. They say that failure is part of the process of reaching their ideal. He/she must fall several times before one get’s one’s balance.
The Sufis who walk toward their ideal take every step of their life’s journey with hope and courage. Failure is a story of the past, it does not exist anymore, they fail to accept that it is part of their existence. I admire their ability to accomplish this, but I tend to do better with a football analogy. A player or a team must forget about a loss or a mistake that occurred in the prior week. If an athlete dwells on a missed shot, a dropped pass, a missed putt, or a strike out, he lacks the concentration for the next game or opportunity. He must set it aside like the Sufi – it does not exist anymore — with one exception and that is if the failure offers an opportunity to learn, improve, or grow. An athlete is taught to eliminate the image of failure, but to remember the lesson that leads to success.