In the world of “self-help” I have been to quite a few rodeos.
I had heard many times the phrase, “Events have no meaning”. I nodded, I agreed, but I didn’t really get it until I started doing Morty’s work. I’m a late bloomer I guess.
One of the earliest beliefs I eliminated using his process was, “Mistakes and Failure are bad”.
As part of my journey toward becoming a cured perfectionist, it really struck me today that it is human to err. As in, it’s part of our make up. To blow it, to screw up, to fail. It’s how we function as beings. Blow it, learn better, screw up, think and do different. I’ve always known this “intellectually” but today I got it on a deeper level for lack of a better term.
I was thinking about baby sea turtles and how when they hatch they just know to go downhill and head for the water. There might be a couple of funny ones who head the wrong way, but for the most part they are all scooting for the surf.
If it was me, newborn and tearing through my soft-shelled egg, I’d have to run up to the parking lot of the beach, stop by the ice cream stand, and muse about the nature of life, instead of heading straight for the water. Actually, I’d probably just lie in the sand hole and suffocate or end up a delicious crab snack.
None of us could run or flipper along as newborns, some of us might have had teeth (!), but we were helpless. It’s because we are still gestating outside the womb so to speak. And that doesn’t stop until like age 47.
So making mistakes and learning from them is an evolutionary gift and boy have we learned ourselves into some amazing stuff. Minivans anyone?
If this is the case, why do we think that failing and making mistakes sucks so hard? It’s because of the beatings and screamings and shamings we took as toddlers. Sort of. That was the source material, but we linked to our failings and mistakes the reason why were given so much guff. I do something “wrong”, big person does horrible thing to me, it must mean that my doing “wrong” is the source of the hurt. Therefore mistakes and failure are bad, dangerous, deadly and so on. And furthermore, I’m an idiot or fool if I commit them.
But here’s the jig: We are the only source of our beliefs, even if our parents swear why they are hurting us is because we are bad or did wrong. In reality, we cannot know why our folks responded the way they did because we can give what they actually did (screaming, hitting, punishing) many many different interpretations. And we can give ourselves in relationship to our measurable accidents as many different interpretations as we want. Maybe we are the heroes of the galaxy because of our screw ups? Who can really say what using a flow bee to cut our hair before our high school photos really meant?
So the question is, which version of us do we want to be? One for whom idiocy and foolishness is intrinsically part of our inborn and sacred mistake making ability, or one for whom that is impossible? Me I choose #2. Why not you do the same? Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better in those shoes…and that perm…and that t-shirt…and that…and that…