There was a time when my kids would spill something and I would go through the comments like “why can’t you be a little more careful?!” or “clean that mess up right now! Why did you do that?!!!”
How ironic that at that point in my life I was also being that unforgiving and rude to myself when I made mistakes. If I messed up on a goal, felt totally ugly that particular day, or just wasn’t feeling happy, I took those “failings” and pounded myself in the ground for them.
All too often we let past wrongs hold future probabilities and accomplishments captive.
It is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and move forward. It is important to STUDY and PRAY so we can truly learn how to move forward from our mistakes.
This is something I read often and LOVE. It is called The Lesson of the Elephant:
“Elephant trainers in Africa have a tried and true method of successfully training young elephants. Taking the young, weaned elephant from its mother, they place a large metal band around the young elephant’s leg, attach a heavy chain, and insert a pike, which is driven deeply into the ground.
Try as it may, the young elephant cannot break free of this restraint. Some elephants continue trying for days and even wear the metal band into their ankle bone. But eventually all the young elephants realize they must stand quietly where their trainers have placed them. They give up trying to escape.
Years later when these massive animals weigh thousands of pounds and have enormous power, the trainer need only place a simple rope and wooden stake to secure the elephant. Past failures to escape continue to hold the elephant back and mask its true new potential.
How sad we say---how cruel to the elephants!! But there are few of us who haven’t been “trained” by past failures to believe that there are things we cannot do!
Not unlike the elephants, we are our own handicap. We must re-learn not to forfeit our obvious advantage now because of painful past failures!!”
Now I don’t want you to walk away from this post thinking I am calling all mothers Elephants, but according to the point this story is trying to illustrate, we truly are. We are stronger and have more influence on our children and the WORLD than we want to believe. Well, now is the time to start believing.
I am happy to say that NOW when my kids spill something or break something, I stop, take a deep breath and simply say “accidents happen. Let’s clean this up together shall we.”
I can now do this because I am more kind and patient with MYSELF when I make mistakes. (And I make many!!)
It makes me smile when I am the one who spills something and my kids hand me a towel and say “It is okay mommy. Accidents happen.”
Our example on forgiving ourselves is HUGE to how our children look at themselves and also forgive others.