Jennifer 10/8/2014-Mistake

Mistake

10/8/2014

Dear Jennifer,

You want so badly to be hard on yourself, to talk sternly, to beat yourself up.

No.

You made a mistake. You acted out of desperation instead of intention, and it bit you. But you ACTED. So you’re not going to beat yourself up about it. You’re going to learn. You’re going to grow, and you’re going to deal.

In the long run, your mistake doesn’t even matter. Not even a long run: a month. In a month, it won’t matter.

You won’t beat yourself up.

This is how we’re going to break the cycle of violence against yourself: you can be stern with yourself when facing the hard parts of life, but you’re not going to get away with beating yourself up for mistakes along the way.

At least you acted. So it didn’t work out the way you wanted: fine. Live with it. Learn with it. Don’t hurt yourself.

Your thoughts sounded worse than any abuser you’ve ever had in your life. Did you hear yourself? Did you hear you call yourself useless? Stupid? Reckless? Irresponsible?

You’re none of those. You make your household run. You handle things that you KNOW you’re bad at, and you’re getting better. But getting better is not without its setbacks. You had a setback. And not even a bad one.

So why are you trying to stomp yourself into the ground?

No, Jennifer. This time, it will be different. This time, you don’t get to hurt yourself by what you say in the mirror. This time, you will live with error and celebrate that it means you’re growing.

Funny that it’s so uncomfortable to change. Sad, really: you’re so used to railing at yourself. It became comfortable, normal, to abuse yourself.

No more. Learn to be comfortable with a more mild view of your mistakes, one mistake at a time. Thankfully, there will be thousands more where that mistake came from. And you will be thankful for each one. Eventually. For now, just don’t beat yourself up over this one.

To read more letters, click on The Path!

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