I Need a Do Over

Photo by Suzette Hibble

My day today totally sucked.  I worked hard all day but didn’t accomplish much of anything.  I felt sad and grumpy for most of the day and I missed my daughter even though she was within ear shot all day long.  I need a do over.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just rewind our lives and have a do over whenever we wanted?  That’s one thing I appreciate about spending time with kids.  Children are almost always up for granting us a do over.  Most haven’t yet developed the ability to hold a grudge.  And even if they have, they’re often incredibly forgiving. It’s just one more lesson we can learn from the kids in our lives.

Yesterday I accidentally bonked my daughter in the nose as I was climbing into bed with her.  She started to cry and said “Bonk” through her tears. But then she reached out to me for comfort.  I apologized, we hugged, and it was as if the incident never happened.  In a way, she let me rewind and have a do over.  I was so grateful.

My husband and I sometimes give one another do-overs too.  I’ve been known to say, “Oops, that’s not what I meant to say, can I rewind please?”  He is often amazingly willing to forget the first statement and listen to the second.  This is a skill that requires a conscious effort to develop.

At least for me, it is often much easier to latch on to the thing my husband said that upsets me, rather than paying attention to the five things he said that were uplifting.  Do you do the same thing?

Luckily, he points it out to me when I’m overly focused on the negative.  And usually I’m able to let things go.  But it wasn’t always this way for me.  I’ve held my share of grudges, that’s for sure.  And when I think back to how it felt to hold that anger and frustration in my body, it felt really crappy.  I really do think it’s true that holding a grudge hurts us more than it hurts the person we’re angry with.

So I’m curious, are there any grudges that you’re willing to let go of this week?  Can you give your friend or loved one a do-over?  And if you’re not ready yet, what will it take for you to be able to let it go?

Watch out for the tendency to require that the other person do something differently in order to earn your forgiveness. The reality is that we can only change ourselves and our thoughts, never another person.

However, when I’ve been able to let go of my grudges and forgive my loved ones, I’ve been amazed at how differently they showed up afterward. The very person I thought was incapable of deep emotional connection actually invited ME to go deeper.  And the one I thought was cold and uncaring became so soft and sweet.

Somehow by accepting people just as they are, we activate such a pure state of love that the other person naturally gravitates toward our ideal vision of them.  Or maybe not, but that’s how I like to look at it. 🙂

Are there things you can love and accept about your children that will allow them to show up differently for you?  Let’s all give our kids, spouses, friends and family a do over this week.  Together we can change a sucky day into a lovely one.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me, Shelly

2 comments
Christee
Christee

Shelly, I really enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for giving me so very many do-overs! I've needed lots of them (even within the past week or two) and you've been generous in your ability to give them to me. Thanks!

Shelly
Shelly

No problem Mama! You're the best.