Do you wonder about the intensity in the last few weeks? Have your own moods or energies gone up and down? And how do we accentuate the positive in our lives at times like these?
Recently a friend shared how she tends to notice her mistakes and make a bigger deal out of them than her successes. Many people have a habit on focusing on what they consider mistakes and then beat themselves up with that.
In my book Unfolding the Mystery of Self, I suggest that there are no mistakes. Everything that happens gives information.
If a woman snaps at her husband and hurts his feelings, it suggests that she is unhappy and hasn't completely addressed it or healed it. If a person ignores a work obligation, it may mean that the person is unhappy with something at work and hasn't yet dealt with it, so it comes out as passive aggression.
What we consider mistakes always are experience that offer an opportunity for growth. Neglecting an important activity may mean I'm ready for a change or avoiding it for a good reason.
These situations create the opportunity to uncover the reason and consider what I want to do about it. Unhappiness always motivates me to do something different.
When a small meditation group I was co-leading became stagnant I saw my interest wane before I realized it was nearing its natural end. Letting it go was timely. My waning interest and behavior wasn't a mistake it was a clue.
What if tardiness is a clue that a person fears change or is too tired to go but didn't figure that out so went anyway, but late?
What if yelling at someone is a clue that your needs aren't being met? That if you take care of yourself, what ever it is that you need, sleep, counseling, nutrition, attention, or education that the yelling naturally changes to talking without yelling.
I'm not saying it is OK to yell at people but that it happens for a reason and if we get what we need, if we take action steps to know what underlies the unhappiness, then we can consider our options and make a change.
Secondly, notice self-talk. Do you say to yourself, "good job getting that done on time" or are you more likely to say, "I barely got that done on time, I always wait until the last minute?"
Self-talk tells us a lot about ourselves and generally it shows we are our own worst critic. Notice and even write into your journal the things you say to yourself in your head. Make yourself more conscious of what you are thinking.
Watch for, "that was stupid" or "I can't believe you did that". Notice how much kinder you are with what you say out loud to others. Generally, we are much kinder and more forgiving when another person makes what they consider a mistake.
You may have seen this picture after I posted it in social media. Create a written version for yourself, maybe as a note in your day timer, or keep this one as a screen saver, or as a download. Believing I'm not enough or believing any negative version of the "enoughs" causes continued pain. Take action and move towards healing with the "I am enough" focus.
To recap 1. There are no mistakes 2. Everything is an opportunity for growth 3. Identify what you really need 4. Give it to yourself 5. Notice your self-talk 6. Practice kindness in your self-talk 7. Know you are enough!