A couple of weeks ago, my 6-year old fell off of her new hoverboard and fractured her arm. Sadie immediately started apologizing to me through her sobs, as if she should have known better or done better.
Wow. If that’s not familiar. 💔 How often have I felt the weight of shame when things don’t turn out like I thought and I should have known better, or felt disappointment and defeat for not executing something perfectly on the first try.
Just because you fall — and even break your arm — doesn’t mean you weren’t supposed to be on the proverbial hoverboard. It doesn’t mean you should never ride again. Doesn’t mean you’re not qualified. Doesn’t mean you should have known better. And it sure doesn’t mean that you’re a failure.
You know what it really means? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Simply means you’re living.
Sadie and I talked about risks and that anything worth doing is risky.
As her wheels were turning, she said, “getting married is a risk.”
I said, “it sure is. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get married.”
She is watching and feeling everything as her dad and I navigate a divorce.
Talk about a failure. Love is risky.
In ‘Rising Strong’ – one of my favorite books ever – author Brené Brown says:
“We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”
My core values — what I am committed to modeling for my children — are vulnerability, authenticity, and resilience.
The ability to say, “I feel really disappointed that things turned out this way, but I’m not finished and I’m going to try again,” is a powerful tool in the life of a healthy and wholehearted person.
There is a tendency for well meaning people to “should” on us when we are struggling or fall down. “You should have been wearing knee pads and elbow pads,” “You should go slower next time,” “You should watch out for those curbs,” “You should pay more attention,” and worst of all, “Maybe you should find a new hobby.” We also do this to ourselves and it’s just as damaging.
“A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Brené Brown
Resilient people believe these four things:
1. They have control over themselves and their lives, can influence what happens to them, and can solve the problems they confront.
2. Life is a challenge and change is an opportunity.
3. It’s okay to ask for help and people can be trusted.
4. Life has meaning and there is a purpose to their struggles.
I am so proud that Sadie was back on the hoverboard the next day and it certainly isn’t the last time we’ll get back up together.
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