I have eaten my words so many times, you’d think I would have slowed down to taste them. But all I had done was gulp them down and ruminate on my failures. The shift to a more positive way of living came when I stopped eating my words and sat down to a full plate of humble pie…
The terrible feeling of screwing up, and equating getting it wrong with being wrong, takes a fantastic amount of energy to maintain. For me, the fear-of-failure protocol required I kept all of my “feelers” out, checking in constantly with others. “Getting it right” meant I’d taken an accurate temperature of the room and presented the version of Kate that appealed to the majority. When I missed the mark, I jumped in with both feet in an effort to find the ground to connection. Connection is beautiful, and I realized I was ignoring the gift of its beauty. I reached for connection desperate to be seen as right; to be seen as good. It was how I knew if I was okay; if it was okay to be me. It felt like survival.
For me, a share of humble pie means having the courage to meet myself with grace. Its a surrender that is holding hands with standing in the heat and surviving. It surfaces beneath the act of softening into the places I knew I could have chosen better… it’s deeper than any situation. I’m softening into an acceptance that I screwed up, it feels like shit, AND the truest way for me to be accountable for the mistakes I make is dropping the ridiculously unattainable goal to always get it right…and then to keep going, mindful of the lesson.
That BLEK feeling of knowing I screwed up and apologizing are the first couple of steps. Apologizing is hugely important; however, it’s not the same as accountability. That happens in the forgiveness.
The meaning of grace is evolving for me. Today it means a forgiveness from me to the parts of me that I abandoned. I have to walk through the BLEK and reconcile the shame I feel for not being “right” for everyone. My slice of humble pie taught me this:
I’ve learned my biggest lessons from people who stood their ground firmly, kindly, and unkindly, despite the pain it caused me.
Its not wrong because it creates pain. I’m not the only one with lessons to learn from my mistakes.