I feel like I berate myself harder than other people berate themselves. Naturally, I don’t really have any way to know this for sure, but it certainly feels like that to me. Laying awake, sleepless, listening to the incessant mind chatter hanging onto one mistake I made – it’s maddening! At what point did I believe that I needed to be perfect? Why am I so afraid of my own mistakes?
I’m always preaching ACCOUNTABILITY to young people and adults alike. How people would be so much more authentic if they could just take responsibility for their actions. Yet, there’s a fine line between accountability and self-punishment. Honestly, if someone woke me up to go over and over and over again the details of a mistake I made, I’d never want to hang with them again. Here I am though…stuck with me, with this mind. So, what do I do?
The answer is: I don’t know. If I break down my transgression (two nights ago is was inviting friends to a simply awful and overpriced restaurant – plans I had made a month in advance, without doing enough research about the restaurant). It ruined my night and I grew more and more angry about spending my hard-earned money on that crap! This event – this ‘mistake’ woke me up and had me feeling guilty, ashamed, and regretful. In the wee hours of the morning, I simply couldn’t talk myself off the proverbial ledge.
When I get like this I tell myself – in 24 hours you won’t feel this bad. This is temporary. Nobody died! I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings (just their wallets). It’s so very small in the grand scheme of things. The nagging feeling, that voice, eventually stops its chatter and I can fall asleep again. Sometimes I repeat a mantra: “I love you…I love you no matter what…I love you…” This helps too. But so far, even though I meditate and teach about it (along with self-love) I still can’t always control my monkey mind…especially at 3 am. As they say, ‘we teach what we most need to learn!’