Mistakes, failures… are these the same thing? We don’t set out to make a mistake nor do we knowingly set ourselves up for failure. I recently read an article about this that included constructive criticism. This made me think about my own life.. especially when the article mentioned people relating to each other through stories.
Unless you have a really thick skin, my thinking is that none of us really likes criticism, me least of all. That we like to criticize is a no brainer, we secretly do it all the time when we judge what someone is wearing. We are also doing it when we send back food in a restaurant .. yes I am guilty.
My granddaughter and I used to love watching a show called ‘what not to wear’.. we would even relate what we seen on our own streets sometimes.. I suppose that was a show on constructive criticism. We now watch ‘say yes to the dress’ we laugh and enjoy while building our own little bonds of communication and living together.. we recently became roomies.
On a trip taken recently with my girlfriend, I ordered off a menu a delicious looking wrap, and was disappointed with what I received. I didn’t send it back because the day before my girlfriend had sent her order back (while I smugly enjoyed mine) she didn’t get much satisfaction. Instead I wrote to the company, expressing my disappointment.. constructive criticism?
How many of us strike back when criticized. Them: (usually my brother whom I seldom see) “oh my .. you have gained some weight?” me “and you look so much older!”
That is not what I really say. What I do say is “and your mouth has gotten much bigger” and yes I do say that. Do you think that could be construed as constructive criticism? me neither, but I felt so much better.
“Do you think you should eat that?” Has there ever been a good outcome from that random remark? Well I don’t think anyone has ever died but I bet there has been a few divorces.
The article goes on about mistakes not defining us, but really do we need to call them that? Maybe there is no such thing as a mistake.. how about it being a decision that was poorly made? I have certainly made my share.. Mistakes are something you try to rectify.. and poor decisions are .. well.. just that.
Some of my decisions have been life changing, they may have started out as well meaning but went downhill fast, but I didn’t know that at the time. The article probably meant we should not be defined by our mistakes. I am always seeking and learning.. and I am going to change that term of ‘mistake’ into a well intentioned decision gone awry.
Have you ever felt like a failure.. as a mother as a wife or a business person? The mother part, in retrospect, is the one that hurts the most. We all want to be perfect, so of course we set ourselves up because perfection does not exist. (except to whomever we live with be it husband or partner..)
Maybe acknowledging our weaknesses right off the bat and asking for guidance when needed, “you know I’m trying to be the best mom but sometimes I feel I just don’t have all the answers, maybe you can you help me with this?” Do you think that would work at any age?
Having weathered a bankruptcy (which is not only humbling but soul destroying) a divorce from a 40 year marriage and re-inventing myself after the age of 60.. it was not without much anguish and pain.
Have you ever had to admit failure to yourself and then let it go? I have made some really poor decisions,, the biggest one is trying to fix everything and make it alright. Being a woman we tend to think if we just try harder we can make it work.. maybe we all can learn from that one?
None of us started out to make poor decisions and really what we were doing was making decisions on what we knew at the time. That they turned out to be not the best ones.. well, I guess what defines us is how we handled them.
To me they are all stories and my life is full of them. The good parts the bad parts and even the ugly parts, and I like to write them down and piece them back together to make sense of it all.
Making these decisions , criticism.. good and bad, failures, successes, it is all interwoven into the pictures we paint of ourselves.. Sharing our stories is how we connect to each other.. I want to be an inventor when I grow up!
Changing my life was no small feat, but I have never looked back .. not even once! My -third life blog helps me to understand all this and sharing parts about my life brings me a sense of gratitude which I don’t quite understand but which I humbly accept…..
and thanks for reading….