The trap of perfectionism & processing emotions
Thea lied yesterday. Like all humans, she’s tempted to believe that the lie will save her from consequences. When the deceit was revealed, she turned her eyes downcast, clenched her jar & turned red. I placed my hand in her chest while she cried.
“Why are you crying?” I asked softly. “Cuz I’m so mad!” she whispered through her gritted teeth. “Why are you angry?” I probed. “Because I made a bad choice.”
“I’m not angry with you Thea. I’m disappointed in your choice. Do you know the difference?”
“Yes,” she admitted, “but I’m still so mad!”
I noticed that she was clinging to the anger as if the self hatred would be the punishment she needed to self correct. When I asked her why she wanted to hold onto the anger so tightly she explained, “because I want to stop making bad choices forever.”
“Oh honey, no one in the entire universe has ever been able to stop making bad choices for ever.”
Have you fallen into this trap? Believing that if you stay angry with yourself & punish yourself with mean thoughts, you’ll stop disappointing yourself with unwise choices? Ya, me too 🙋🏼
Next time you catch yourself in this punitive state, allow the anger to move through you (this can be done through EFT, yoga, shaking it out etc) & see if you can offer yourself compassion instead: “Even though I’m disappointed with my choice, I deeply and completely love & accept myself.”
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