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In Loving Memory of Vic

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One Day At A Time August 23, 2011

One Day At A Time
August 23, 2011
FAILURE

“Accept that all of us can be hurt, that all of us can – and surely will at times – fail.  Other vulnerabilities, like being embarrassed or risking love, can be terrifying, too.”
–Dr. Joyce Brothers

The prospect of failing ~ or worse yet, “ Being A Failure” ~ was a crippling monster which held me in its cold and unforgiving stranglehold. If I thought I could not do a thing perfectly, I would not do it at all. If I didn’t know the “Right” way to act or to be, I was paralyzed. One day my therapist shocked me by suggesting I make a mistake on purpose. She wanted me to practice giving myself permission to make mistakes and to survive the experience.

I vividly recall intentionally dropping a gum wrapper on the ground and leaving it there. The Fearful Perfectionist inside of me screamed, “Pick it up! You never litter! This is wrong!” Yet I also heard a whisper welling up from within: “It will be alright. Just let it go.”

As part of my Recovery, I am exploring with brutal honesty the mistakes I’ve made in my life: the ways and the people that I’ve failed. Though doing so is embarrassing, humbling, and frightening, I am surprised to find a budding sense of relief. My attempts to avoid Failure never made me Perfect; rather, they caused me to be more entrenched in my pride, insecurities, fears, and stunted growth. A young girl I know is an expert skater. I asked her how she learned, and her answer stopped me in my tracks: “Mostly by falling down.”

One day at a time…
I will practice accepting my failures as necessary steps towards my healing. I will remember that the word “practice” honors the fact that we gain our progress by making attempts, failing, and learning from our mistakes.

~ Lisa V.

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