Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mean to yourself. May 19, 2010.

"If someone in your life talked to you the way you talk to yourself, you would have left them long ago." - Carla Gordon

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When I make a mistake – in my checkbook, or by taking a wrong turn while driving, or say something to someone I probably shouldn’t have said, I sometimes explode with anger at myself: I shout, “I’m so stupid.” If I’m extremely angry, then it’s “I’m so fucking stupid.” I’ll smack my head. I’ve never cut myself, but I understand the temptation.

If my husband screamed at me that I was “fucking stupid” and hit me in the head or cut me, I’d probably file for divorce. I wouldn’t take that treatment from a husband, a boss, or a “friend.” In fact in real life I’ve never been called stupid, because I’m not. So how is it OK for me to say that to myself?

Because somewhere along the line I got the idea that I had to be perfect, and if I wasn’t I was irrevocably flawed. If you expect to be perfect, it’s a recipe for disaster – because not one of us is. A mistake is something we do, not something we are.

For today let’s remember that we are probably our own worst critics. I bet it’s true of every person in this group that they want to be perfect and fail, and punish ourselves more severely than anyone else would. Instead, let’s just do our best – and leave the rest to the Universe to sort out.

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