Healing, not condemnation

There's an alternative to punishing ourselves for mistakes, a way that forwards geniune progress and healing.

I was so sure I had the door key with me. But I didn't and now I was locked out. A minor mistake, certainly, and one soon righted. But mistakes aren't always trivial, and even small ones can leave us feeling inadequate and down on ourselves.

Of course, examining what we've said or done with an eye to doing better next time, and taking steps to correct mistakes, are essential to our well-being. But harshly condemning ourselves for mistakes or shortcomings can actually hinder progress. It can impede honest self-evaluation by denying the good we do express. And it would excuse us from attempting to do better by insisting that we can't possibly improve, so why try?

Second Thought
September 21, 1992

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