Authentic Promotion's Molly Gordon believes
mistakes are the currency with which we purchase tickets in the amusement park of life,
sometimes required for surrender only when the ride has ended and we're a little unsteady on our feet. Having examined ourselves, apologized if necessary, and corrected what we can, what then is it possible to do with guilt, disappointment, or embarrassment because our arrow-shot-into-the-air fell to earth at some very inconvenient, and sometimes painful, latitude. What is there to do?
Our version of some of her suggestions:
- Give up guilt as a strategy for revising or paying ransom to the past.
- Notice what happens when you agree to things in order to impress or please other people.
- Promptly revise commitments that you are not going to keep. Brief embarrassment is kinder to everyone than postponed dishonesty.
- Learn the difference between being wrong about something, and having something wrong with you.
- Let go of managing other people's reactions and feelings. That's their job. They're often very good at it.
- Entertain your motives, all of them. The more clearly you see what you want and why, the easier it will be to notice if you really want to follow those inclinations in a particular situation.
- Pay attention to the people you resent. Do they have something you want? How do they get away with feeling just fine about themselves when they do things you wouldn't allow yourself to do? You might notice something useful.
- Be aware of the feelings of guilt, shame, and repression in your body: the way the jaw muscles tighten and the shoulders creep upward, that sinking feeling in the midsection, the clipped, insistent tone of justification in your inner dialogue. Imagine honoring your principles about people and commitments without making your body a battleground.
- Write a new script. Try on different ways of telling the story of your mistakes so that they are steppingstones to insight and building blocks in relationships. Tell the story of what the hero learned, and how (s)he quite accidentally brought treasure to the people by what happened.
There are easy and useful ways to start doing this. Consult your local experienced lifecoach for more ideas. (S)he just might offer a substantial introductory session for nothing more than the fun of it.