It happens to all of us. There comes a time when we all make whopper-sized mistakes. Real doozies. Maybe it is a poor choice that resulted in the worst possible outcome. Perhaps it was something you said from a place of anger, fear, or frustration. Even in the moment right after the words left your lips, you felt the flush of regret. You wish you could swallow up your words and have a ‘do-over’.
Your worst fear came true. Thinking about it is causes you to feel all of the initial emotion as if the situation just happened.
So what do you do? Do you beat yourself up and relive the moment in a perpetual cycle of shame and regret?
It is time to dial up self compassion, focus on present moment awareness and ways to build positive momentum. Letting the pain, embarrassment, or shame of regret dwell in your heart allows emotional toxicity to pollute you mentally and physically. When you allow these and harmful thoughts to stay inside you, you drain your energy reserves and further the cycle of self doubt and uncertainty.
This isn’t a place you want to call home. It would be far more comforting to have a cozy, soft place to rest your weary heart and mind.
Here are some tips to help you build a stronger foundation based on self compassion:
1) Practice mindful awareness. Stay present and acknowledge what you are feeling. You may be frustrated, sad, hurt, disappointed, or embarrassed. Recognize the feeling and take responsibility for the emotions. Allow yourself to be in the space you need to be as a curious detached observer. From here, if you need to apologize, do so. Hoping that the situation will fade from your memory or from others is unlikely. Take the time to do as the Chinese proverb says, “If you must bow at all, bow low.” From here, you will create space for healthier thoughts and more nourishing actions.
2) Practice emotional release. Journal your emotions and the situation that triggered them. Then release what you journaled by burning the paper or shredding and discarding it. Next, recognize this important step in a ceremony of celebration by doing something nurturing for yourself.
3) Use your top 3 phrases. What phrases can you verbalize to yourself when you are suffering. Think of three statements you can say out loud to plant better thoughts in your subconscious. Here are a few suggestions: “I allow myself time to feel these emotions.” “I am worthy and deserving of self love and compassion.” “Suffering happens and it is in this moment, but won’t last forever.”
As the 12th century Sufi poet Rumi wrote, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
4) Consider your community. You are not the only person who suffers. Imagine a friend shared her suffering with you. How would you comfort her? Most likely, you would use words of caring, support, and compassion. Can you do the same for yourself?
5) Remember you are the director. You are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts and the director of your life’s movie. You can’t change what has been written, but you can write a more nurturing and healthy script for your main character going forward.
For more tips on self compassion and building positive momentum, please tune into my radio show, Your Authentic Life on VoiceAmerica’s Empowerment Channel. My guest on the November 19 show is Amanda Weber. Call in to 1.888. 246.9141 or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The show airs live Wednesdays at 11:00am PST and 2:00pm EST.