Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

A coworker and I went to lunch today at a nearby Chinese buffet (and may I say, a very good one, with a huge variety -- something sorely lacking in most CB's but I digress.....). Naturally, we got fortune cookies at meal's end, and I went ahead and opened mine.

Mine was amazingly wise: Just because you make a mistake doesn't mean you are the mistake.

Wow. I had to read it several times. I wanted to make sure that it was what I thought it said. I almost cried, because it was pretty timely.

I tend to beat myself up over the most minor flubs and peccadilloes. I did a flub last night at work -- one where even my boss said not to sweat it, it was fixable -- and beat myself up all the way home. I tried hard to focus (my key word for today) on the tasks at hand today -- and it seemed as if Murphy had invaded the building. The nasty negative feedback loop kicked in -- you know, the one in your brain that says, "You are a screw-up. You are way out of your league. You are fooling everybody you know, because you're not that (fill in the blank)....." and on and on.

Sometimes, that negative feedback loop gets so embedded in our brains that we take it for Gospel, especially when we do make honest mistakes. And we tell ourselves that we are not (whatever) because someone in our past once told us that -- and our brain held on to it, and plays it back to us ... sometimes more, sometimes less. But we deserve better than that -- and need to remind ourselves that we are good because we have been lovingly created to be good. That we are not junk and that we are not mistakes, regardless of how many mistakes we will make over our lifetimes.

Fortune cookie: a whack of perspective with dessert to boot.

1 comment:

bolivar said...

I can totally identify with what happened to you. Sometimes I feel like such an idiot for some of the things I have done. Even though I feel like I made the right decision, there is that little voice in my head telling me that I am way in over my head.

But I want you to know that you have never been, nor ever will be, a mistake. There are people who think the world about you - I am one of them. I can also think of two other people that I know very well who think the same way about you. I also notice that you have some pretty strange friends!!

What has happened to me over the last 15 months has been well documented & doesn't need to be elaborated on any further. But I have learned a lot about myself over the last 15 months. One thing is that there are a lot of people behind me with emotional support. My former boss told my father that I really have no idea how many people have prayed for me over the last 15 months. That inspires me.

But the words of an old wise man still ring true for me, no matter what obstacles I go through:

"There is a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all one has to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking. Let things happen. And, above all else, be the ball."

Bolivar "Confucious" Shagnasty