(Okay. . .speaking of self doubt, I’ve named this post THREE times. . .but none of ’em stuck, so make up your own title and feel free to leave it in the comments if you care to.)
I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend tonight. I called because I hadn’t gotten an e-mail that was sent and had missed out on some big doin’s. It wasn’t a happy e-mail–rather one that needed a “friendly pat on the shoulder of life.” After the conversation this is some of what I replied in an e-mail even though we had discussed the issue at hand while on the phone.
“Obviously I completely understand how [this situation] caused you to sail headfirst into the chasm of self doubt that is so adequately littered with all of the jagged shards of failures and shattered attempts and discarded ideas that haunt you.”
And which one of us DOESN’T have a yawning chasm of such things with which to pummel ourselves as well fall headlong to the bottom clutching a bag of M&Ms and a diet Coke for comfort. Mine is more like The Grand Canyon of Self Doubt at times.
Anyway, it reminded me that we all need to be a little nicer to our inner children. Now that term, “inner child” has gotten a negative connotation as a way to excuse bad behavior or slough off responsibility for one’s actions. But I’m not talking about that one. I’m talking about how we treat ourselves. There might be a list a mile long of things people love about us, or admire, or find entertaining or amazing or amusing–but we know the truth.
We are frauds.
We have these horrible gaping, oozing inadequacies that we try to cover up each day before we face the world, but when we are alone with our inadequacies or we fear they are being glimpsed by anyone, we go into self abuse mode. We rant and rave inside our heads over what we should have done and all the time we’ve wasted and how we should have dealt with this long ago. We bash and beat on the poor little person in there that hides in the shadows trying to keep her at bay so the world doesn’t see who she really is.
Well, I had quite a bit of that going on yesterday myself. I’ve wrestled with the same problem for years upon years and I’ve not moved what seems like one step forward. Except maybe I have. I know myself better. I know when I just need to go to bed. I know when to NOT order the large diet Coke because the caffeine rush will just make me grumpier. I know that I will probably procrastinate getting the Brownie craft pillows cut out until the night before I need them, so I had better at least buy the supplies two months in advance. . .ouch. . .that one still smarts.
So–we’ve all seen this (below) before probably, but it never hurts to be reminded that we need to take a lighter hand when dealing with life in general, and most definitely with our Inner Child. She is very shy, you see. She might need some extra attention, and she’s very loving and devoted when she feels safe. Enjoy the words of someone who had time to think about that. . .and knew exactly how much time she had.
By the way, Stephanie sent this to me this week (thank you Stephanie) . She is in good company because the FIRST wonderful friend who brought this to my attention was Maxine Riley, Sarah’s grandmother.
If I had my life to live over
by Erma Bombeck
I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I love yous”.. more “I’m sorrys”… but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it… live it…and never give it back.
Be kind to yourself today.