I recently asked myself this question. I hadn’t done so in a long time. I know that usually individuals can be much harder on themselves that any other person could ever hope to be.
But all of that momentarily slipped my mind. I trusted someone who purported to be a man of God and allowed him to opportunity to sponsor one of my charity events. I thought of him as a kind person who wanted to do something good in the community and let down my usual guards. I believed every excuse he gave about why he hadn’t sent the money for the sponsorship even after my organization had committed itself to other companies that were demanding payment. To make a long story short, he is nothing of what he said that he was. To be even more to the point – he is a con artist.
At first, I believed it was an isolated incident. That maybe the economy had been hard on him and his business and he was experiencing a monetary cash flow. Then out of the blue – I begin receiving a barrage of emails about other people he had conned.
That’s when I asked myself the dreaded question, “How could I have been so stupid?”
It was almost in the same instant that I had a moment of clarity. Taking responsibility for making a mistake is one thing – berating yourself for it, is something entirely different.
Think about it.
Do we yell at children when they fall down and bump their heads or bust their lips? No. Do we punch guest who break glasses or spill drinks? No. Do we lash out at plants that die or flowers that don’t bloom? No. Somehow we find compassion in our hearts to forgive and excuse the mishaps and errors of others. Yet we have little if any compassion for ourselves. For some reason, we tend to forge we are growing and learning, and that we will fall down and sometimes make a mess.
You may not always know what to do. It’s okay! You will not always be able to find the right words at the moment at the moment you need them. It’s okay. You may swear you won’t, then do it anyway. It really is okay! It’s okay if you do, or say, or forget to do or say the “right” thing at the “right” time. The challenge is to learn not to beat yourself up about it. Even better – pretend you’re five again, give yourself a big hug and whisper, “It’s okay!”
Because guess what .... it really is.