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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tough on Yourself?

Hello Readers! I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

As I shared in my second posting, The Road to a Dream is about helping me realize this writing dream and to help me learn to be a bit more of an Optimistic Realist. Part of my journey toward that goal is to try to find inspirational/motivational things to read. If you follow my Facebook page, you will probably have seen some of the things I read.

I want to share with you a poem from Doe Zantamata. I downloaded this book of poems from Etsy.com at Doe’s shop listed there. (

While I’m not much of a poetry reader, I have found that Doe’s poems and sayings strike an emotional chord for me. Sometimes they are so simple they are profound. Have you ever read something that made you ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

The poem “Don’t Be So Tough on Yourself” struck a chord with me because I have been struggling lately with the Fear-of-Failure monster. We all have “demons” or “monsters” that we deal with, right?

Let’s take a look at Doe’s poem in sections:

Don’t be so tough on yourself about past mistakes, about missed opportunities, about trusting the advice of others over your own intuition.”

Have you ever beat yourself up because of a mistake? Or because you didn’t take part in something that hindsight showed you would have been beneficial? Or have you squelched that inner voice that was telling you to go one way, but another person was telling you to follow their instructions or lead? I bet you have. I bet we all have.

I still remember major social faux pas that have the power to make me cringe or blush to this day. I still regret having put off going to college as long as I did. (I was about 30 when I started college.) And I really regret not purchasing the house I fell in love with in 2003, because my friend didn’t like it. (I settled for my second choice.)

Make amends where you can, forgive yourself for not knowing better, and realize that the lessons were needed and had to be learned firsthand.”

Making amends can sometimes be even harder on a person than the original mistake. What if the person doesn’t accept your apology or explanation? Well, you have to be able to tell yourself, “At least I tried.” Right? Sometimes we get so caught up in remembering the problem that we forget to learn what we can. Once you identify what you can learn from a situation, you are that much closer to moving on. If all we do is live in the past, how can we move forward…into the present…and be available to accept the future?

 “Be tougher on yourself with following through with your ideas, your plans, dreams, and goals, and staying committed to making the changes you want to make to better yourself, your life, and your future.”

It’s one thing to set a goal, but it’s sometimes harder to follow through with it. I keep setting the goal of going back to the Curves gym, to improve my overall health, but I still haven’t managed to make that happen. Saying I should do something comes easy…making it happen is much harder! Every week I find another reason to not start the work-out program; even though I know it will make me feel better not just physically, but emotionally, too. For a year, I have been postponing this goal one week at a time.

This last section also means something else to me. While I’m not sure Doe meant it to be interpreted this way, I feel sure she will be okay with my interpretation. That is what inspirational saying are for, aren’t they? For personal interpretations? 

Personally, I come away with…put more energy into identifying my own goals/dreams, working toward those goals/dreams, and taking care of myself…than living in the past amongst my regrets and mistakes.

So I forgive myself for those social blunders, for postponing my education, for not buying that “ideal” house. I accept that not all olive branches offered will be accepted or acknowledged. I can’t control the other person’s willingness to forgive me. They have their own path to walk. They may never be ready to forgive my transgressions…but that choice is theirs to make. 

I accept that I need to work harder on my own goals, to live my life to its fullest, to get the most out of this short time allotted me on the face of this Earth

Letting go of the past means embracing the future and its possibilities. Ultimately, we have to love ourselves as much as we love our family and friends. When the lights go out at night, when the day closes and we tuck ourselves into bed…it’s the thoughts in our own head that we are left with. If we aren’t comfortable in our own mind, how can we be comfortable with the rest of the world?

Until next week, be kind to each other…and to yourselves, too.

Please feel free to leave your comments, questions, or suggestions in the Comments.

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