A crucial part of self-love is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Of course words like fail and mistakes and wrong are always relative and subjective. But I am talking about giving yourself the freedom to make the wrong choices and trusting yourself enough to adjust and compensate and grow from the experience.
As a survivor and thriver of childhood sexual abuse, I have spent all my life so far demanding perfection from myself and others. I have agonised over decisions, wanting to do the perfect thing at the perfect time for the perfect reasons. My world was so wrong that I had to be right in every way. Subconsciously I must have believed that my very survival depended on perfection and flawlessness. I took every criticism, every mistake and weakness as a direct personal reflection of my very being. No doubt this was a result of a very undeveloped sense of self as a result of being sexually abuse by my own father with no validation from my mother.
But things have changed now; I allow myself to make mistakes, do the wrong thing, say and think the wrong thing. I allow myself to make the wrong decisions and choices, in the full confidence that I will be able to work it out eventually. I trust in myself enough to know that it will be ok, that I have all the inner resources in my personal tool kit to shape the circumstances in the way that I need them to be for me.
This weekend I went out with friends and I smoked, had a glass of champagne, let my hair down, danced and it was liberating. These are things that would make me instantly feel bad about myself. I am also moving across the world and uprooting my son from a good school and a comfortable environment. It’s going to be hard and things may not work out as I planned but …you know what…that’s ok too. I will be fine and my son will be fine. My son has my unconditional love and care and I am following my heart.
Life is messy, imperfect and there are so many grey areas but I know that I have been my own worst enemy; mentally tearing myself down at every opportunity. I tell my harsh critic to leave now, she doesn’t serve me anymore. I am in control now and the danger has passed. It’s time for self-love and self-belief and self-care after over thirty years of self-bashing, self-denigration and fear of everything.