Our Own Worst Self

There has been a common theme in many of the conversations I have been having with people over the past few weeks. Discussions of struggle and regret, hurt and second chances. This post is one that I wrote some time ago but was waiting for the right time to post it. 

I think now is that time.

Everyone has those days. Days where we are the worst version of ourselves. Days as parents that we wish we could go back and have a do over. Days where we are stressed to the max and are just doing the best that we can to just get by.

If we are one of the lucky one's, we have people around us who support us through these tough times. Who give us grace and understanding, walking alongside us until we reach the other side of our struggle.  They know we will do better next time. They are able look at the big picture, and don't hold our mistakes against us.

Sadly, we are not always supported by such people. There are those who prefer to keep track of and tally up every one of our mistakes, to be used against us later. Delighting in our failures. Rather than looking at our whole lives, they take our worst mistakes and use them as the moments that define how they view us. Whether it happened yesterday or 40 years ago, they revel in their self proclaimed role as judge and jury.

I have often thought that it would feel great to be able to put those people in their place. To really tell them what I think of them and set them straight once and for all. In reality, I know nothing I say would really matter to someone bent on focusing on another person's faults. Even bringing the proverbial mirror up for them to look into would have no impact on what they believed. They are virtually flawless, or (at the very least) much better than most.

So, I have tried to create boundaries for myself and my children to keep a distance from such judgement. I try to learn from those experiences of being judged and serve up grace, instead of condemnation, on those around me. It doesn't always work, but I keep trying.

After all, who doesn't have moments in life where they wish they'd made different choices, or handled things a little differently? I know that I do (usually daily.)

Thankfully, as L.M. Montgomery wrote in Anne of Green Gables, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

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Learning How to BE

This last year has been one of change and growth for me. Change is a process, and does not have to be a bad thing. In fact, the end result can be a amazing once we get to the other side.

However along with change, can come pain. Growing pains, if you will. We can fight it, and break in the process. Or we can bend with it, and let it shape us into something uniquely beautiful that we never would have expected.

I hate change. Yep. Always have. Give me safe, predictable, and boring any day.

This process of change has forced me to find a new way to 'be.' It truly felt like I didn't know who I was anymore. In my quest to discover who I am now, I was brought face to face with something I didn't anticipate.


I have struggled with a laundry list of fears (both real and imagined) that have paralyzed me to act on many things during the past twelve months. Self doubt, imagined scenarios, you name it and it has probably kept me awake at least one night in the past twelve months. So I have stayed silent, gripped by fear. But we are not meant to live in fear.

Because FEAR LIES!

Fear says that we will never make it, that all is hopeless, that we will always fail, that it will never get better, that we can't make a difference, that all is lost. We're never good enough, smart enough, clever enough, good looking enough.

But that's not true.

Life is about learning and growing from our mistakes, not about perfection. We will fall many times in our life. FALLING ISN'T FAILING. Whether or not we get back up, that's what counts.

It's something I've needed to remind myself of, and maybe you needed to hear it today as well. Some days we will thrive and some we will just get by.

I will never be able to go back to the way I was. It hasn't felt comfortable. There is a depth to the 'song of my life' that wasn't there before. A deeper, more sorrowful tone that wasn't present a year ago has been added. That just makes that joyful notes sound so much sweeter.

I will proudly 'sing' these new notes in my life, acknowledging them, but not letting them stop me from continuing to add to my song, and continuing to learn how to be.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
                                                                                                                                  ~2 Timothy 1:7

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