December 2020 Newsletter
Hello, and a delightful December to you!
Can you forgive yourself?
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about self-forgiveness.
We can be so hard on ourselves! As much as we may feel picked on by others, many of us truly are
our own worst enemy. Are you still blaming yourself for a choice you made years ago, or an opportunity
you were too afraid to take? Maybe some part of you wishes you'd pursued that other career, moved to
that other location, or accepted that romantic invitation you turned down.
You did the best you knew how at the time, and maybe now you'd make a different decision, since we keep
learning. If you imagine about "the road not taken" and what you might have missed, it could seem like
a lost opportunity. Or you could have avoided a big problem by playing it safe -- there's no real way
to know. What's true is that regret and self-blame aren't helping you now.
If you followed an unhealthy pattern of over-spending and as a result are in debt, or of over-eating or some other coping mechanism
and are facing a health crisis, again, self-blame will not help to move you forward. Agencies and programs and professionals abound
to help you out of the hole you're in, if you're only honest about what you're facing. Pretending things are fine when they're not
will just let your problem remain, and often get worse.
All of us were scolded as children. We might have done something that caused a problem for our parents, or put ourselves in danger,
or maybe our care-givers were having a bad day already and took it out on us. So why then would we scold ourselves, when it feels so bad?
Maybe it's an automatic habit, repeating those familar harsh words which were directed at us. How about treating ourselves like precious
beings, who deserve tender loving care to flourish, the way we wish we'd gotten treated more often when we were growing?
In my first year of college I mentioned to someone I had played clarinet since 4th grade, becoming good enough to make the all-state band
in high school. I had no illusions about my skill -- I had practiced, and was a good technician. When I was then invited to join a jazz quartet,
I panicked and didn't even consider it. I was positive the group would realize how creative I wasn't, how I couldn't improvise. I've regretted this ever since, as it
might have loosened my logical analytical left-brain focus, to let a freer playful side emerge.
Speaking of playing, you can't do play wrong! The same is true of learning, since "mistakes" are part of gaining mastery at anything,
and a so-called error is just learning what not to do. Seeing myself as a student at Life has helped me let go of self-criticism.
So has allowing myself to be more creative, which again you can't get wrong. Gratitude for whatever happens has been key too, and especially
being grateful for my own efforts, however they turn out. Self-criticism feels anti-Joy and anti-Growth to me, and who wants that?
For an article on healthy vision being like unstructured play,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the start of this delectable month of December.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!