There are moments that are still haunting me in my life, although they are becoming less and less. These are moments I am not incredibly proud of but there have by far contributed to my own personal growth.
The distance in time helps but there are still moments of shame, guilt, and even embarrassment.
It wasn’t a great time in my life, the relationship I was in was falling apart for many various reasons and I was still heavily into self-loathing and self-destruction. Even though I had young children to care for.
I went out to a party and that’s it. I don’t remember anything after that, except for brief moments sitting in a cop car and then waking up behind bars as I was released.
There has been a war within of taking responsibility for myself and my actions while realizing that my drink was spiked. And perhaps it wasn’t but that’s not the point of this post.
The point is, I was drunk and got behind the wheel and had to deal with the consequences.
For the first time in my life, I had to look at myself.
I had to acknowledge that what I was doing was not serving me or my kids.
I had to see that how I was showing up in this world was fully my responsibility.
I needed to take accountability for my actions.
And it was hard and painful.
For the first time in my life, I saw I was playing the victim.
The victim because I was born to parents who were not equipped to raise me.
The victim because I grew up in foster care and no one wanted or loved me.
The victim that if no one thought I was good enough, I didn’t deserve to love myself.
As I began looking at myself at the age of 26, who had endured so much, I was able to make sense of my own behavior. It felt like the fog has finally lifted and that it was time for me to step out of the shadow.
I was embarrassed that I allowed it to get out of control.
I was ashamed that I seemed to have followed my parent’s footsteps.
I was riddled with guilt for slamming the truck into a house with a family in it.
How could I allow this to happen?
Going through all the motions after the restricted license, the required education class and therapy I know that I balanced on the edge between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.
And truly, there is no excuse.
But there is no reason for me to continue to beat myself up over it.
It’s been 16 years.
16 years of venturing out into the light.
16 years of turning my life around.
16 years of becoming who I have always been.
There are still moments where I shake my head in disbelief and say, “How could I?” but it happened exactly when it needed to happen.
It happened so that I could wake the hell up.
I needed to unravel and become completely undone.
And in the process, I learned to be gentle with myself, to acknowledge we don’t know what we don’t know but to be open to the opportunity to step into awareness for ourselves.
Since that day, I look at every event and every experience and see what the relationship is between past and present. And there is always a relationship. Don’t believe me? Keep a diary of the events and behaviors in your current life and think back when this behavior showed up before. What was the event? How do you feel?
I drank because I wanted to fit in, needed to courage to speak and because I hated myself. But I didn’t know these things. I didn’t know that is why I was drinking so heavily all the time.
I needed to learn to be okay with my past, to love myself exactly the way I am flawed and all and I needed to know that I could always depend on me.
But more than anything else, I needed to forgive.
Forgive my parents.
Forgive my foster parents.
Forgive all the other people.
Forgive the events that happened to me beyond my control.
Forgive the events that were completely in my control.
It is the time that I no longer feel ashamed over this event or embarrassed.
We all do some stupid things at times, some bigger than others.
But they are not the end of the world.
There are however lessons to be learned and grow from.
I am no longer hanging my head in shame but rather acknowledge the incredible awareness that happened because of the event.
And at this moment in time, I want you to know that no matter what stupid thing you have done, you are okay – right here, right now. Don’t beat yourself up over it because you will miss out on so many things that are truly good in your life.
I love you!
I always tell people, I have zero regrets.
Some people, believe me, some people look at me funny, while other people try to call bullshit.
I used to have regrets until one day I realized that those are just silly things to hang onto.
Regrets will have you play over the same old story you have been telling yourself. You know the story of
- I am stupid.
- I made a mistake.
- I’m a fool.
- I can’t do anything right.
Yea that story. It will play over and over in your head and you wonder why life is as crappy as it appears.
Instead of hanging on to regrets, look at those events and experiences and see what you can learn from them. Acknowledge the negative parts of the event but also really hone in on the positive of the experience.
Yes, there is always a little of both, but once you know the positive you are creating an awareness that allows you to grow.
I don’t regret leaving a long-term relationship even though the love has never faltered. But I needed to believe in myself, find my own strength and feel 100% secure in who I am.
It provided me with room for growth and expansion that I don’t know would have been possible if I’d stayed in the relationship. Perhaps it would have but it would probably take a tremendous amount of time longer.
I also don’t regret signing the papers that my son needed a liver transplant. Even though I didn’t know all that craziness that would follow.
“Of course, you don’t regret it because everything turned out fine”.
I’ve thought about this for a long time, but I am 100% I wouldn’t regret it no matter what the outcome. And yes, I am grateful it turned out the way it did.
But here’s the thing, regrets are full of “what if’s” and I don’t remember a time in my life where “What if” really served a purpose, except for “What if I was successful” but even then, I am cautious.
Regrets really dampen your confidence and your courage to try again.
Regrets hold you back and retell the story of your failure time and again.
Instead of hanging onto regrets, choose to let them go. See them for valuable teaching moments and decide that every decision you make from here on out, will be the best decision for that given moment.
Because each decision the past was fulfilled and met the same way.
We all do our best in each given moment.
You can’t do more than that.
So, decide right here and right now that you will let go of regret.
Feel the weight lifted off your shoulders and step into your self-awareness so you can acknowledge where you can grow and expand to be the best possible you – always.
who loves to point out mistakes!
if you have been around my site for a while you will have noticed perhaps some of the following:
- spelling errors
- grammatical mistakes
- syntactical errors
- misused words
I want to thank you for telling me because I know what it’s like to come from a place of wanting to help.
I get it.
We want perfection.
We want the right words in the right context so that we can look like we have our shit together.
But what you are missing out on is the person behind the words.
And in all honesty, we don’t always have our shit together.
It’s taken me a lot to get over the fear of writing and putting my words into this world.
It’s taken me a lot to get over my own inner critic of not being good enough.
What you don’t see behind the words is a woman who was diagnosed with dyslexia in 4th grade.
That this woman has worked so hard in learning how to properly read and write because for heaven’s sake a person with dyslexia can’t possible write, let alone be successful.
What you also don’t see is the woman whose first language isn’t English. My native language is German, which is grammatically so very different. We have more letters in our alphabet, super long words, and well more words.
So, you may correct my errors and even judge me for not being everything in its proper place.
You may even choose to not work with me.
I am okay with that.
I am okay with being perfectly imperfect because my message is much bigger than those grammatical errors in my writing or misused words when I am speaking.
And if you are concerned about my writing, my grammar and my mistakes in spelling, know that I am working on this every single day. But let me also share with you that I spent 8 years writing academic papers while in college and passed with flying colors!
When you can look at your flaws and can still be okay with yourself, know that you have things you can improve on. Love yourself because you know you have a bigger message to offer to this word. That my friend changes a life, not criticizing and pointing out the flaws of other people.
When you can go after whatever it is you want, knowing there is always someone out there that is going to point out that something is not good enough. And doing that thing anyway, that is the sign of true courage.
- It takes courage to write every single day, to share your message.
- It takes courage to go after your dreams even if you are the only one that believes in you.
- It takes courage to show up every single day even when days are shit.
- It takes courage to be you even when you know someone out there will find a fault.
Here is what sets you apart from the rest of the world:
Doing it anyway!
So please, if you have a dream go after it, even if someone takes the time to point out the errors of your ways.
Shine your light and share your message no matter how grammatically flawed it may be.
Because I guarantee, someone will look over those misused words and see the passion and love behind it all.