Does Success Have to Be Permanent?

ruinsAs we all prepare to move into a new chapter, I’m seeing a lot of people take time to mourn the life they had before. They’re taking stock and deciding how successful they were and weighing that against how successful they hope to be. It’s a necessary process, but from my vantage point, many people are being harder on themselves than necessary. They’re punishing themselves for having to change at all.

One person I know is ending a marriage that was harmful to them for years and years. He tried everything he could to keep it afloat, but his wife simply wouldn’t have it. So now he is looking at the crumbled pieces in his hands and feeling like he failed as a spouse.

Another is stepping down to work part-time after years of being the primary earner in her family. She knows it’s for the best and that the old job was breaking her, but she can’t help but feel that there’s something wrong with her for not being able to continue forever.

But there’s something so insidious about that word: “forever.” It’s like we have an idea that something has to be permanent in order to be successful. But not only is that impossible, it discounts the fact that life changes, and things that suit us at one point may not suit us at another. And it also leads us to minimize our own accomplishments and the good things in our lives.

In the first example, yes, the marriage failed. But it also lasted for decades before that. They raised three children, renovated their house half a dozen times, supported each other through multiple surgeries, and had many happy years. Is that really a failure? And what if they had stayed together, fighting and making each other miserable for the rest of their lives? Would that have been a success?

And for the second example, that job may have been high-paying and it’s understandable that it’s painful to lose it, but would staying until it put her in the hospital made her more successful than recognizing that it was untenable and stepping down before the worst happened? Why not focus instead on the way the job, terrible as it was, provided for her family and put them on solid financial footing? Or what about the wonderful coworkers who have become lifelong friends? Can we not consider that a form of success?

As Jupiter continues to trek through Pisces, many of us will be making big life changes. Because of this, we’ve got to get better at thinking about our pasts. Luckily, we have Saturn in Aquarius to help. Aquarius is all about the individual, while Saturn helps us define things. So for the next year or two, we’ve all got a wonderful chance to define success on our own terms. After all, how can we walk bravely into the future if we’re dragging the corpses of the past behind us? It’s time to let go of guilt and see just how successful we really are.

Are you holding onto any guilt about change? How do you define success? 

About Midara

Midara has been a consulting astrologer for over a decade. Whether you’re struggling with relationships, personal growth, tough transits, or whatever else, she’s here to help.


Does Success Have to Be Permanent? — 7 Comments

  1. What a wonderful post ! Just what I needed. And the words are so true!

    I left my job , the first years I did it with so much joy. But in the end I felt so dragged down burned out . I refused to call it quits. I did feel like a failure. And wasn’t ready to admit it to myself. Your words touched me.

    I feel a bit of a failure now for not being able to work fulltime at the moment. Very over stimulated. Was always so proud that I earned my own money just like my dad taught me. But even he said yesterday , you’ve done your share. Take a rest.

    And I don’t want to drag my corpses with me. So this for me is beautiful metaphor. My future is waiting, and I can step into it without excess bagage.

    Thank you so much !

  2. I am feeling this big time. The post is spot on. This is where I am with natal sun in cancer, 6th house and 1st house mid-late Aquarius ascendant. Have a natal stellium in my 6th and 7th houses. After 39 years marriage and 30 years running my own business I am feeling like it is time to move on. This transit seems very heavy. But the horizon appears bright.

  3. It really makes sense on life being a collection of failures until you reach success, defined more in terms of something meaningful to you

  4. I really loved reading this post. I think we are educated around the idea of forever and we take as a failure what is not forever. It really touched my heart reading this… as I have personally struggled a lot around the idea of forever, searching and waiting for that forever unable to really enjoy what it is now and not tremble thinking if it’s gonna last forever…

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