Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 1040: Pass Or Fail

So, I've been doing all of this reading and pondering lately.  From a variety of sources.  It's interesting how much of it ties into my current "homework" assignment from my counselor.   The biggest discovery I've made this week is that I have a pretty solid "Pass, or Fail" mentality.  About pretty much everything in life.

When Darling A was only a couple weeks old, I would sit in my rocking chair, nursing her while viewing the chaos around me (i.e. Baby B screaming, Sweet P and Little M fighting, mess and clutter all over, and HH frustrated because a lot of things weren't getting taken care of, Z whining at my feet for lack of attention) and I would repeat inside my head, "What were we thinking?  This was a mistake.  I will never be able to make everyone happy again."

And I knew that I had failed as a wife and mom.

Because keeping everyone happy all of the time was the test and I failed it.

If I don't workout until I'm exhausted, or pretty near to it, I've failed in my workout.

If someone complains about one dish I've prepared, the whole meal is a failure.  My failure.

And so on and on.

I've known for a while that this was faulty thinking, but it was difficult to figure out how to change it and what exactly was wrong because I wasn't thinking of it in these exact words and terms.  But, now that I've become aware of this "Pass, or Fail" line of thinking, I've realized just how much I use it.  And how counterproductive it is toward my efforts to be happy.

So, when I find myself getting down because I didn't do something perfect, in addition to reminding myself that I have value, I also remind myself that it's okay.  Life is not about passing or failing.  At least, very little of it is.  For the most part, it's full of "do-overs".

And the most important part of that, for me, is that if I slip up and I don't use my newly learned tools to stay positive and I have a bad moment, or a bad day--it's okay.  Because being happy isn't something I can pass off.  I'm not going to one day walk out of my counselor's office with a sheet of paper saying that I've passed and I am going to live perfectly happy from then on.

And that's okay.  Because it also means that when I do slip up, I haven't failed.  It is worth trying again because this is all about progression, not mastery.

And that is a pretty liberating thought for someone so governed by fear of failure.

In other news, we had our family pictures taken tonight.  Kind of chaotic, but I am super excited to see how they turned out!


Linda said...

Thanks again, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing some truisms that have such power. Thanks for taking us along on this journey. love you!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for letting me talk it out with you to help sort through my thoughts! Love you!