I failed yesterday. I missed a conference call with two esteemed clients and friends. Irrelevant is the fact that a minor crisis interrupted my morning. The missed call, while unacceptable, wasn’t the failure.
It was what came after.
I failed yesterday. There was an emergency situation that derailed me but the failure wasn’t there! It was in the hour plus after where I felt shame, guilt and self-hatred over not checking for the call before dealing with the unexpected crisis.
It took some hefty processing to first surface what I was experiencing, relating it to some core wounding, understanding what the shame and guilt were really about and “being with” the deep, dark discomfort.
After some time, I could come back to a more centered place and then move forward, limping and haltingly as we humans sometimes do, but forward nevertheless.
What was forward in this case? I wrote to my friends, told them the truth of what had happened before, during and after the missed call – sharing the painful process. I recommitted to the relationship by apologizing and offering to make it right by discounting the makeup call fee by half and allowed whatever was to be, to unfold.
Why am I telling you all this? Because, whatever coaching wisdom I have acquired over the years, there is little more valuable to my understanding than exploring the way of self-hate and the means to moving beyond it.
Self-hate is insidiuous. Whether one calls its awful voice, the “inner critic”, “cruel judge” “Super Ego” or something more glamorous, the self-hatred that frequently descends generally has very little to do with what is actually showing up in the present. It is the carryover of our past. As Cheri Huber states in There is Nothing Wrong With You” Going Beyond Self Hate, “You have been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn’t and you’re not.” When we’re young, we seek to find unconditional love and wisdom outside ourselves rather than inside. We begin to believe the messages we receive and are sure “we have to earn it” by being a certain way. This is taught to us from early childhood by unwittingly self-hating parents who were taught by their unwitting self-hating parents and so on…
Yet, every spiritual paths teaches that everything we seek is within – love, compassion, understanding, peace and so on.
It is cyclical in several ways and a BIG topic. Too big for a short blog…but worth decoding, exploring, mining for its very rich vein of gold!
Clients, readers, friends, family have heard me say, over and over, hold yourself with the compassion and love you would display to beloved others. Yet, yesterday, for a piece of the morning, I failed. (I required support to do that – thankfully present in my life!)
So I am sharing that we are all works in progress, that we all fall down, scrape our knees or our souls, and need to get up. How quickly we stand and move again is the work!!!
We attempt, we make mistakes, we understand that failure is feedback, we learn, we attempt again.
It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something. ~Ornette Coleman (jazz impressario and GREAT)
Enough said. Hopefully this is helpful.