I said those words in a PT interview today and it really hit me for some reason (in a good way). The realization that it is okay to make mistakes. I make mistakes with my parenting, and THAT'S OKAY. I learn from them.
For example... I have, on occasion, lost my temper, and I have swatted my kids on their butts in a moment of frustration and rage. And I immediately give myself a time-out and admit that I did a bad thing and shouldn't have done it. My son has also told me that I made a mistake and has said "you did the WRONG thing, mommy. You didn't use your words". (Aren't kids wonderful and amazing?!?)
Am I a horrible person? I used to think so. But I am starting to realize that I am not. I am a good person. But I am HUMAN. I am not a computer -- I can't be programmed to always behave exactly the way I want to behave, the way that I believe is the correct, right way to behave. Such ideals are wonderful in theory, but can be virtually impossible to attain in practice.
I refuse to continue to beat myself up over every little mistake that I have ever made in my life. I can't always be everything that I strive to be every single day. Every now and then, I am bound to trip up and make a mistake or two.
Some mistakes are big ones, like the ones I described above. Some of them are small - like the relish that I spilled on the floor today at the restaurant.
I am not a horrible person because of the mistakes that I make. I am flawed. I am imperfect. I am human. I am me. And I love me, just as I am.
I'm usually the person everyone comes to for advice and to help them fix things. I've always known I'm not perfect myself, and never ever would describe myself as perfect or even a perfectionist (I let a lot slide!), but one of the most profound things that happened to me and realizations I had about how I really was holding myself to an impossible, ridiculous standard was several years ago when I had a huge event for work that I was in charge of, hundreds of people were coming to a central location for a 2 day mtg and it was a huge deal.
In planning for it I repeatedly did not trust my planning team and how they thought the mtg should go, and I either resisted in the planning mtgs, or when we got to the mtg itself I just did things the way I thought they should be done.
The mtg was SO SO FLAWED and so many people had complaints, and they were exactly the kind of issues my team had tried to warn of.
When I was upset and telling my best friend about it afterwards and how I couldn't believe I'd screwed up so badly and so publicly and not practiced what I preach about listening to your team and trusting them, she said the most impactful thing: "Who the h*ll do you think YOU are? Who told you you were so perfect that you couldn't make a huge mistake? Why are you acting as if somehow YOU should be above making this kind of mistake, but it would be understandable if anyone else made it? Who do you think you are?!"
She said it very matter-of-factly, but it hit me like a truck: I DID hold myself to some kind of much higher standard, and therefore was DEVASTATED when I blew it. But hello! I know better than anyone just how many real mistakes I make regularly, or bad judgement, etc. I needed to embrace my own humanity, accept what I did, cry a bit more, then apologize to my team and learn from it and do better next time.
It really was such a relief to be reminded that not only am I not perfect, I screw up in all kinds of ways on a regular basis: small tiny private ways, and big huge public ways. And I also needed to remember that as long as my intention is good, and I do my best, my mistakes will turn out ok in the end. Armegeddon does not result from my mistakes, even though it can feel that way!
Embrace our imperfections and love ourselves, that is a great message to start the weekend with! (and the holiday season which is so full of stress and self-doubt for so many of us...)