I had a lapse yesterday.  I was having a hamster wheel conversation.  You know, the kind where you talk in circles for 2 hours and never get anywhere.  It gets frustrating, feeling like you’re not being heard or that your feelings are invalid.  You want to be understood, you want validation.  Sometimes you just don’t get it.  Sometimes, you are completely misread and sometimes you are so determined to be heard that you’re closed off to the possibility that the issue lies in you.

Now, I’ve been having a really good week.  I’ve had some breakthroughs, I’ve reached new levels of acceptance, I’ve raised my level of awareness.  I’ve been happy and feeling like I’m on the right track.  I’ve been feeling really strong.  So how is it, that I found myself stressed to the point of tears as a result of a conversation with one of my favorite people in the universe?

Lady Lesson #7: Sometimes you take a few steps back

I think this is one of the most important lessons I’m learning.  Changing habits that have gotten you through 24 years of life is not an easy fix.  You may make the choice to change, but those old habits can kick in and next thing you know, you’re topping off your kiddie pool with tears.  It happens.  It’s not the end of the world!

I tend to think it is.  It’s so easy for me to fall behind and then judge myself.  Harshly.  “I should be better”, “I should know this by now”, “I’ve already learned the lesson, how could I be so stupid to get back to this place?” “I’m never going to change”.  Remember that vicious cycle I talked about?  This is it.

Image*from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now

The key is stopping those thoughts before they start.  “But they just come!” I know they do!  It’s just cruel.  But if you can sear your brain with the belief that sometimes, you take a step backwards and that’s okay, you’ll be able to climb out of that hole easier.  Yesterday, I cried.  When I got off the phone at the end of my conversation, I took a second to breathe it out.  I allowed myself to be upset.  For the first time, I opted out of getting angry with myself for crying.  I then looked at the situation.  I looked at what was said and I asked what could I learn from this, but I did not once judge my reaction.  It was okay, I was okay and I can still move forward with a clearer head.

Taking a step back while you’re learning and changing your habits is going to happen every once in a while.  The only way it’ll hurt you is if you sit there and judge yourself.  Don’t fill your head with reasons why you suck!  You’re awesome.  Forgive yourself.  Eventually, whatever habit you’re changing will become second nature and falling behind won’t even be a blip on your radar.

Like I said, this lesson is so important for me.  I’ve got such a distaste for failure I’ll beat myself up for days if I detect it within myself.  I really need to remind myself that sometimes you fall behind, and it really is okay, just so long as you use it to propel you forward.  Just keep swimming folks!

-Jadey Lady