Some days, it seems like I can't get out the door without mucking up the entire day. The house is a mess, we're running an hour off schedule, I've missed a playdate the kids were looking forward to, and I can't find my glasses (which are usually - hahaha - on my face). Somewhere between losing my ever lovin' mind and calling it quits at 11am, my 10 yr. old son will touch my arm and say:
It's okay, mom. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has bad days. In fact, I'm having one right now.
Bless his heart.
Unfortunately, there have been mistakes I've made that aren't laughed away by a dimpled-face kid with a healthy grip on sarcasm. I've participated in some really stupid shenanigans. I've been a bad friend. I've been a selfish wife. I've been judgmental and cold where I should have shown humility and kindness. I've held on too long to relationships that were toxic, or simply no longer served a positive purpose in my life. The ripple effect of these decisions can be heartbreaking when you're single ... and absolutely gut you from the inside when you're a mother. You realize that fumbling through life is no longer "okay". You're here for something big, something you can't quite name yet. It calls to you on sleepless nights and lets your mind race with ideas.
And what of these mistakes? Have they rippled so big and so loud that you can't reverse or re-route their effects? I'm here to assure you that isn't the case. There is always, always a way to glean the lessons from those bumps in the road (or Grand Canyon-sized blunders, in my case) and utilize them towards your ultimate purpose. I like to take these baby steps towards loving myself, re-routing the ripple effect of my mistakes and ultimately experiencing joy from the process:
- Start with the big idea: What one thing happened or didn't happen that you'd like to re-route or release?
- Once you've got the big idea, break it down into smaller bits that you can gently address without feeling defensive or uncomfortable. Say you made some major flubs in relationships and you'd like to be a better friend in 2014. Take a baby step towards that goal: write a friend. Don't text, don't re-pin things on her Pinterest board, don't send a message on facebook. Really sit down and get your heart on paper.
- Gain momentum. Baby steps help you reach your goal without discomfort and defensiveness. Once you get into your groove, you'll find that you're completing more than one baby step a day, or you're so laser-focused you're knocking things off your list without much thought. That's what it's all about! Re-route that mistake and make it a MESSAGE.
- And of course, meditate daily. I like to pick a scripture or hymn to motivate me. Sometimes that scripture is broken way down into a bite-sized piece like, "Grace abounds" or "Press on". Using scripture activates my faith in full, so that I'm not completely relying on myself. If scripture & hymns don't resonate with you right now, use your favorite uplifting quote or song. When all else fails, tap into your inner Bob Marley: "Everything's gonna be alright".
After your meditation, write down how you're feeling and any insights you've received during your quiet time. Don't forget to apply those lessons as you gain momentum!
Any time you feel the tugging, gnawing sensation that you've gotta be doing or being something - that's your cue to step back and allow yourself some grace. Mistakes are part and parcel of this business of living. They are not the final say in who you are, your worth or your abilities.