what if you chose to believe the best about yourself?
"Once I realized I was telling myself a bad story, I crafted a new one."
Michael Hyatt, Change Your Story, Change Your Life Podcast.
I have gotten some amazing compliments over the past few years on my children and my mothering. Some from friends and family, and sometimes from someone I've just met.
As good as it feels to get these compliments, there's always a part of me that thinks, Ha! You should have been here ten minutes ago when I was spewing venom at my little one for coloring on the wall. Lots of grace and beauty there. Psh.
Can you relate? It's true that no matter how wonderfully my kids behave around others, no matter how gentle and forgivingly I mother in public, I remember that, while I loaded everyone in the car, I was borderline cruel to my children. Ann Voskamp (aka: my favorite blogger to quote), writes about totally losing it with her kids over things that are just not that important. Here's one example: she was trying to get somewhere, and she reminded her son to iron his shirt, but then she looked back and "he’s in the van looking like he’s rolled with a bunch of wombats to Timbuktu and back." Enough to send any mother over the edge. Her comment: "I'm not proud that I can hiss." Oh I can so relate.
No matter how many compliments we receive, we all know what we're really like when no one is around. But what if we could take these compliments and simply say, this too is a part of who I am? What if, instead of comparing your days and letting your worst invalidate your best, you held up your best days as shining examples of the self you are trying to become? Not as lucky-must-have-been-a-fluke days, but as the days when you finally got it right. The magical days when all the soul-searching, book reading, deep breathing, begging-pleading-praying for strength combined into that beautiful person you are working so hard to be.
I am a better friend and wife when I remind myself that I'm usually caring and supportive instead of a self-centered dimwit who sometimes puts her foot right in her mouth. I parent better when I put aside my mistakes and remember that I am a creative and determined mother. We operate from a place of strength and calm when we believe we are more than the sum of our mistakes.
I guess this is my PSA today: the best things about you are still true when the worst parts slip out, even when they take over for a while. Choose to believe the best.