How many times have we lambasted ourselves for doing or not doing something? How many times have we blamed ourselves for things that really don’t matter? How many times have we walked away from an argument muttering “stupid, stupid, stupid?” And worst of all; how many times do we feel inadequate and wish that we were someone else?
We are hardest on ourselves than we are with anyone else. And you know what? Most of the time we just don’t deserve it. All the many times we feel that we “shoulda, coulda, woulda” is usually just frustration talking. No one is harder on ourselves than us. We are only human, and we do make mistakes from time to time; it isn’t the end of the world, and we really should give up on beating ourselves to pieces over it.
Trust me: I’m a long-standing “shoulda, coulda, woulda” person myself. Example: when I was in my 30s, I began to worry that I would never marry. Not to toot my own horn, but at that time I already had had three proposals. But none of them felt right to me, so I just went on being unmarried. By the time I was in my mid-30s, I started to panic; would I ever be someone’s wife?
I know how crazy that sounds, but that’s how I felt at the time. So when I did get married, I expected to feel “wife-like,” and for a while, I did. Long boring story short, it turned out to be what my mother would have called a “training wheels” marriage. I learned a lot about the man I married and realized that I had made a huge mistake. Suffice it to say, we divorced after a few years. Live and learn.
And, if you read my blog, you’ll know that I found the right man, the Crankee Yankee, a few years later. We have now been married for 18 years, and life is not only good, but great. No “shoulda, coulda, woulda” here.
Now that I’m a lot older, I realize that a whole lot of “shoulda, coulda, woulda” isn’t always our fault. Sometimes it’s a call to arms to get out of a situation that isn’t going to get any better. Once you get past the fact that you can actually change the situation, you can stop blaming yourself. It’s surprisingly easy to exchange the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” to “I’m good, I’m great, I can do ANYTHING!
As a good friend of mine once told me, “stop shoulding on yourself!”