1. Interpreter - " ... what your older sister is trying to say is,'Please don't borrow my eyeshadow to play Monster High Rock Stars with your baby sister.' Also, please stop putting makeup on the baby!"
2. Reality Check - "Trust me, a misplaced Lincoln Log is the least of your worries in life. You still have puberty, your first menial job and college to look forward to."
3. Counselor - "You know your sister will pay you back the $5.00 she's asking to borrow. This is good practice for when you become adults. We're family; we help each other."
... but when it comes to forgiving myself, I'm all out of wisdom.
When it comes to my own faults and missteps, I am my own worst enemy. The words I use on myself do not build me up, speak life, or bring joy. For someone who is intent on discovering the little joys in every day living, you would think I'd be a pro at pep talk! (see, there I go again ...)
Instead, my inner monologue is more like this:
No, she's right. Her life is so much better than mine. Never mind that I don't actually live her life, I'm going to take her word for it.
No, he's right. I wasn't the hardest working or most deserving. If I could just be more like _________, I wouldn't have this problem.
No, they're right. I can act like a b*tch sometimes, so I deserve to be treated like someone who acts like one all the time.
Once I'm in that mindset, it's tough to get out. When I was in my 20's, I could stay there for months! I'd constantly compare myself to others based on perception, then turn perception into fact. That is no way to live. I certainly wasn't happy. I certainly didn't create joy for the people around me, or claim it for myself. I was trapped in my own bitter shame spiral.
Kids are a great mirror. Watching my kids pick up my negative self talk habit was a hard kick in the pants to change. My BP teen still struggling is a reminder to keep tabs on myself, on a daily basis. It doesn't mean that I am now experiencing the unpleasant moments in life with naivete or in denial. Doing the big job of forgiving myself is so much more - it allows me the space to rise above whatever mess ups and mistakes I've made with the confidence that I can do better.
Forgiving myself is a daily practice, but one that is well worth the effort.
Someday, hopefully soon, I'll be able to forgive myself with such depth and clarity that my forgiveness song sounds more like this: