We are all who we are; made of good things and not-so-good things. But we are here to try to make the best of the life we’ve been given.
When we look at ourselves, what do we see? Are we instantly critical of every little flaw, every mistake we’ve made, every misstep we’ve taken? All of us are fallible; we all try and often fail in living our best life.
My own take on our time on this planet is that we are all given gifts that are uniquely ours. We may share them with the world as did Mozart and Einstein and Jane Goodall, or we can keep them to ourselves to nurture and grow our gifts until we get to a place where we can feel good about sharing them.
But we are often so hard on ourselves! We are all works in progress; we may try and fail over and over again, or just plain give up—only to wearily pull ourselves up to try again. Whoever we are, whatever we do in life, we must own it. If we make mistakes along the way, we can choose to own it, make the change and move on.
Or we can choose to let that mistake hold us back from having an authentic life. I call that path the “sack of stones” syndrome: oh no, we can’t have a good relationship because (stone #1) we hurt too much from the last failed one and we are afraid we’ll get hurt again. Oh no, we can’t try to get a better job because (stone #2) the one we have is better than nothing, so why upset the apple cart? Oh no, we shouldn’t buy that expensive (but gorgeous) pair of shoes because (stone #3) they may cause unwanted attention. And so it goes, and we end up losing so many chances and opportunities.
At one point in my life, I hauled around my own heavy bag of stones and used them to excuse myself from, well; life. Even something as simple as taking a sample cookie in the grocery store was an issue. I would smile and say, ‘no, thank you.” And I really did want that cookie, but would always feel that I didn’t deserve it.
Or I would try on a dress that was more than I planned to spend, but it made me look fabulous. After admiring myself, that old school marm voice in my head would say, “now you really don’t need that, do you?” Sighing, I would put the dress back and go home.
Well—those days are over for me. It took me a long time to realize that I am truly the captain of my own life. Who’s judging, anyway? If we are the ones judging ourselves, then we have the power to kick that judge right out of our heads.
If I can answer ‘no’ to these questions:
- Is what I’m doing going to hurt anyone?
- Is what I’m doing bad for me?
- Is what I’m doing illegal?
…then I can say yes to the cookie, yes to the shoes, and yes to the dress. Then it really is ok to just OWN IT.