“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” – Chinese proverb
or in other words:
“Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.” ~ Anon
I forget, sometimes, that it’s ok to screw up. I’m often compassionate or empathetic when a colleague or friend has a bad day or is emotional, irrational or angry but I’m often not as kind or understanding if it’s me who has messed up. I used to be pretty good at (psychologically) beating myself up for my mistakes. While I wouldn’t say I’m reformed, I am more aware of that tendency, so I’m trying to be more understanding and accepting of my own mistakes.
Once the mistake has been made, I recognise the value in acknowledging it and moving on. But what if I can’t move on? What if I need some time to get over whatever ‘it’ is? Actually – that’s ok. Stuff takes time for us to process. In most cases I can see that my processing of stuff takes less time than it has in the past – so that denotes progress, and I’ll take all the positives I can get.
I make a mistake. Acknowledge the error and admit to the poor judgement, ill discipline, inappropriate behaviour/emotion, or whatever. Feel the feelings (guilt, shame, embarrassment, sorrow… – the list is endless and the choice is yours). Then MOVE. ON. I like the quote above “just don’t unpack and live there” – because you don’t need to. Don’t linger. I’ll say it again: MOVE ON.
To me that’s the key. Let it go and walk away. Build a bridge and get over it. Do whatever you need to do to be free of the thing that’s holding you back from moving on. Imagine that mistake is a broken toy – maybe you’ve spent hours with this toy and now it’s broken. Destroyed. Irreparable. When the time is right (and only you can decide when that is) you pick up the toy, take it outside and put it in the rubbish bin. You close the lid and walk away. And you don’t look back. Instead you refocus on the next step.
Look ahead. Take a step. Move forward.