“Now, I can think back on those typos with NO emotional charge. Kind of like remembering a bad dream and realizing that it was never serious to start with.”
It was so ‘serendipitous’ that, after spending lots of time preparing my post on forgiveness yesterday, I could NOT forgive myself when I saw that some last-minute changes I made created what I consider “REALLY BAD TYPOS.” Having been Managing Editor at a university, I am well aware that last-minute changes can cause typos to show up in a major heading or even a BOOK TITLE! Or—like yesterday—in the SUBJECT LINE!
That evening, after I finally sit send, then went to see if the email to you all had popped up in my inbox yet, and was MORTIFIED when I saw that subject line. I’m usually pretty good these days given all my work on ‘regret hell’ at quickly seeing my good intentions and detaching from what I perceive to be others’ judgments and moving on.
BUT NOT LAST NIGHT! I probably said to my daughter about 6 times as we were cooking and eating that I couldn’t believe I sent it out like that! I just couldn’t let go of it—till I did the assignment that was in that email I had sent out.
It only took MOMENTS to get the shift, once I got committed to not suffering any longer, and followed my own simple directions!
Now, I can think back on those typos with NO emotional charge. Kind of like remembering a bad dream and realizing that it was never serious to start with.
Since this week is all about a whole new take on forgiveness, I wanted to share what that process—which took place in my head after years of practice but I would recommend that I still write it down for the deepest shift and you would do the same.
. . . . . .
When I noticed I was stuck, and mercilessly beating myself up, I decided to try what I had suggested in the assignment. The hopeless kicked-in-the-stomach feeling that it was absolutely TOO LATE to take it back, or to change your reactions, or to control whatever happens from here forward, is what it feels like to me when I am in others’ business or in Life’s (God’s) business.
With it turned it on myself and felt hopeless and full of self-loathing. If I were to put my mind’s dialogue on a Judge-your-Neighbor Worksheet (as my email I suggested you could do if you couldn’t find anyone else you felt unforgiving toward). I didn’t write it, but the paraphrased version when I looked was something like this:
- Who or what are you upset about and why? I am angry at myself for not fixing those typos.
- In that situation, how to you want them to change? What do you want them to do? I want myself to go back and re-do it (this is the total stuck hopelessness of regret)
- What advice would you give them? I should have been more systematic in keying in my edits. I shouldn’t have forgotten to fix that one.
- In order for you to be happy in this situation, what do you need them to do? I need myself to be different than I was in that moment (again—impossible hamster wheel of regret)
- Describe them in this situation: I am stupid, lazy, bad, careless, taking short cuts, distracted, disorganized.
- What is it in or around this situation you don’t ever want to experience again? I don’t ever want to send out another mistake again. I don’t ever want to beat myself up like this again.
Ok, so I had that spinning in my head and it went nowhere. I COULD go ahead and do The Work on that, and it would show me how it shouldn’t have happened any other way than it did, and how it was only my thinking after the fact that would tell me there was a problem. That is one of the main ways The Work cuts right through the ‘something is wrong,’ story to forgiveness.
However, I wanted to follow my advice and look support the little kid who started to turn everything on to herself. SO I LOOKED UNDER THE SELF-ABUSE FOR WHO I MIGHT REALLY WANT TO BLAME FOR MY PAIN.
And lo and behold, I found you! It was all of you—my readers! I had decided that because of that “BAD” subject line, you,
- Would not even open the email and get the goodies inside; or
- Would roll your eyes and say, “Here she goes again,” noticing that my passion for my topic sometimes gets in the way of other things; and
- That would result in some of you unsubscribing; and
- That unsubscribing would result in those folks never getting the benefit of all I have to offer; and
- My affiliates would not want to promote what I do—even if they think it is REALLY good because things like this might reflect badly on them; and
- That would result it me working so hard but not being able to reach many people who could benefit or spread this paradigm shift of peace; and
- I would have no one to blame but myself (ooops—look how easy it was for me to come back to self-judgment)!
Once I realized that I could look under the self-hatred and see where I was projecting onto you that YOU were disgusted with or leaving ME, I saw that I had separated from myself and got over in your business. (Again, this is all taking place in a matter of seconds once I became willing to look, and with my level of experience with this kind of self-inquiry).
I noticed when I looked more closely that I was already pre-emptively defensive and mad at you—my readers and potential affiliates—in reaction to my mind-made story that you were mad at or leaving me! So the worksheet I would then do on you (as per that assignment) would look something like this:
- I am mad at you for being mad at me.
- I want you to stop being so critical of me and just enjoy all I have to give.
- You should not let these typos cause you to leave or support me any less.
- I need you to love me no matter what. I need you to let me show up however I do and know that it is perfect. I need you to see I am always doing the best I can. I need you to be in my court, and love what I do, and be my best cheerleader.
- You are mean, impatient, unforgiving, cruel, abandoning me at every turn.
- I don’t ever want you to judge me or distance from me again.
I have observed this to be the main driving pattern in almost anything that upsets me—i.e., this worksheet could be applied to any number of situations, and is kind of the ‘last holdout’ of what I struggle with.
I don’t even notice that I am angry, and beat myself up or work to please others, but there is an element of passive aggressiveness in it as part of me wants you to LOVE ME NO MATTER WHAT, so I’m already mad when I think you don’t.
I can see that if I find childhood situations and do this one about my mom or teachers where—instead of withdrawing inside myself, I get in touch with my angry projections onto them—I will start to be free of it in the here and now. The more I see how it plays out in my daily life and take it back to healing the littlest part of me who is believing others will be mad and leave, the less hold it has on me.
The minute I notice that, all I have to do is pull myself back out of your business and the business of the future (that you will be mad or leave and all the things that ‘are going to happen.’) A quick ‘is it true?’ lets me know I don’t know, and when it doesn’t, I can see that I can’t absolutely know its true. Then I notice how I react when I believe those thoughts about you (even if they are buried under my safety net of self-hatred), and who I might be without those thoughts.
Then turning the thoughts around holds the REAL goldmine:
- I am mad at ME.
- I want ME to stop being so critical of myself and just enjoy all I have to give.
- You should not let these typos cause ME to leave or support MYSELF any less.
- I need ME to love me no matter what. I need ME to let me (and you) show up however I do and know that it is perfect. I need ME to be in my (and your) court, and love everything that I (and you) do, and be my (and your) best cheerleader, and see that I (and you) are always doing the best we can.
- I am mean, impatient, unforgiving, cruel, abandoning me at every turn (toward myself and you).
- I am willing for you to judge me or distance from me again (as it will help me find myself and treat myself and you the way I want to be treated).
This stuff is the GOLDEN RULE on steroids. And even though I started beating myself up again today when I was writing the worksheet on myself, right now all I feel is an open overflowing heart full of love for both you and me, and gratitude for this sweet lesson.
And so, because I want to send this and I also want to be on time for my friend’s 60th birthday brunch, I am going to hit send with NO PROOFING. Trusting that my ideal client and affiliates want what I have to say, less than they care how it is presented. And I at the same time, I am putting standard operating procedures for proofreading in place on Monday!