‘I stood in front of the receptionist flustered, sweaty, and desperate to turn back time… and I started to cry.’: Mom shares important realization about self-kindness

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“Do you believe it’s okay to fail?⁣

If you asked me, I’d be quick to say, ‘YES!’ Of course, failure is a part of life. Failing means you’re human. Failing means you tried.⁣

But turns out what I know is true doesn’t always translate to how I feel.⁣

Yesterday I messed up. I was talking on the phone while driving (yeah, I know) and I missed a turn. I didn’t realize my mistake until much too late.⁣

So late, in fact, that by the time I turned around, back tracked, and made it to my appointment, I was told the doctor could no longer see me. The appointment I had waited months for. The appointment I had taken time away from work and arranged childcare for.⁣

I stood in front of the receptionist, flustered and sweaty and desperate to turn back time… and I started to cry. Tears of frustration and embarrassment. And also tears of shame. The receptionist’s demeanor didn’t help. But as I drove home, silently wiping tears and berating myself for my mistake, I realized my response was less about the inconvenience I caused and the unkind attitude I received, and more about what I believe.⁣

I believe I shouldn’t make mistakes.⁣

I believe I should always be focused and timely and efficient.⁣

I believe a string of bad nights sleep shouldn’t affect my clarity of mind.⁣

I believe failure is an indictment on my character.⁣

I share this in the spirit of gloss-less honest. As I type these words, I can name for myself all their slippery slopes and half-truths. I would never believe these things for you.⁣

But sometimes it takes missing a turn and crying in front of a stranger to realize you’ve got some work to do in the department of self-kindness.⁣

Should I have been leaving a friend a voice message while driving? Probably not. Could I have activated turn by turn directions on my phone instead of relying on the little map my mama gave me? Sure.⁣

But today I want to hug yesterday-me and tell her she is no less valuable or loved because she messed up.⁣

Today-me knows appointments can be rescheduled and God’s mercies are new every morning.”

women in fitting room takes mirror selfie wearing a cardigan and jeans
Courtesy of Becky Keife

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Becky Keife. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and her website. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Becky here:

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