“What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim? Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!” – Alfred Adler
Not too long ago I had a “maybe it’s me” moment. While I was on Facebook, I saw that an old flame had recently tied the knot. And although I’m in no hurry to jump the broom (or still have any sort of feelings for him), I did feel a pang of “Why isn’t that me?” shoot through my stomach.
After flipping through his too-cute wedding pictures, I started to feel a bit down and wondered when I’d find The One with whom I’d spend my life. In that moment I mentally scanned the pages of my relationship scrapbook and began to think about all of the decisions I’ve made in the past. Some, I wasn’t so proud of. I stayed longer in bad situations than I should have, and others, I never even gave the guy a proper chance.
As thought back I had to admit that not all of the guys were bad. Sometimes, it really was me. At times I was mean, and others I didn’t allow myself to be open and vulnerable. And a few times I made questionable decisions or allowed myself to be treated in a way that I shouldn’t have. While the guys weren’t always innocent bystanders, I couldn’t overlook my part in the demise of our relationships either.
Interestingly enough, taking stock and realizing where I messed up didn’t get me down; it made me feel empowered. Instead of going into Negative Nancy territory and swearing off men, I recognize the mistakes I made and feel better equipped to sidestep them in the future.
When we’re honest with ourselves about our role in the not-so-nice moments of our lives, we reclaim a little bit of lost power.
Instead of blaming others, or dumping ALL the blame on ourselves and believing the worst about our self, being honest about how we contributed to our mess-ups will not only help us heal, but it’ll hopefully provide some much-needed wisdom about what not to do in the future.
Time to take a little stock of our lives, Clutchettes.
*This post was adapted from my weekly inspirational newsletter.