Yesterday while visiting my daughter out of town, I broke 2 glass dishes that had been my grandmothers. Today I turned on my daughter’s house alarm. I forgot I was not supposed to do that and when I opened the patio door to walk outside, the police were notified and a very understanding officer showed up.
I have a tendency to overreact, and in a flash I can go from embarrassed to ashamed to feeling worthless to babbling I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry non-stop, and I did all of that after the officer left.
I’ve had lots of practice making mistakes. I could be considered an Olympic level mistake- maker. I just don’t handle it well when I make them!
What triggers this overreaction? Could it be that my self-worth becomes entangled with having to be perfect, and I become as frantic as a fish caught in a net? Could it be that I’ve had too many relationships where making a mistake puts me in emotional jeopardy? Could it be that it has nothing do with broken plates and house alarms but something deeper, a deeper fear or unhealed grief?
I’m not sure how to change my reactions, though I know how important it is to be kind to myself. Maybe I could immunize myself with small daily doses of self-compassion and self-acceptance. Maybe this could help me stay calm in the present, give me the courage to look into that deeper space and to find peace in the chaos that is often life.