"What the hell am I doing?"
Twelve years ago I asked myself that question. I was thirty-two years old.
I had gone into my bartending job at 9pm and immediately, before talking to anyone, grabbed a liquor bottle and poured myself a shot. I raised the glass to my lips and, this time, I kind of saw myself from outside myself for a moment.
I was completely appalled and embarrassed by my behavior.
"What the hell am I doing?" I asked myself.
I had made a wrong turn.
Then the recession hit.
Then I went bankrupt.
Then, in the middle of having nothing and contemplating suicide, my girlfriend and I found out we were having a child... our first child, our only child.
For a very, very long time my life was driven by shame, frustration, anger and confusion.
At first, I tried to cover these up with drinking, telling jokes, having one-night stands, surfing, playing sports, getting into fights, and putting a protective wall around my soul.
With my daughter being born I tried to cover these things up with quitting drinking (and judging everyone else who drank or did drugs), running a business, working extremely hard for other people, masochistically working out and treating movement as a job instead of a joy, giving myself no time to rest, to think, or to relax, not listening to anyone, being incredibly hard-headed and selfish, arguing with my wife about everything in front of anyone, driving myself day after day after day to stay busy and to produce things that would help other people or bring in revenue so we would never be bankrupt again.
I had absolutely no self-esteem. But I was absolutely awesome at lying to myself that I did.
The years I spent covering up or ignoring my fallibilities after having my daughter were way worse than the ignorant and self-absorbed years I spent before my daughter was born.
It has taken a long time to forgive myself.
I share this with you to tell you, that it's okay. That YOU are okay.
See, friend, we all make mistakes; and our biggest mistake is believing that we ARE our mistakes... that we ARE a mistake.
You are NOT a mistake. You are NOT your mistakes. Do NOT imprison yourself with such false labels, ideas and condemnations!
You have plenty of time to do good work and accomplish your amazing things! You must begin by forgiving YOURSELF.
Let it go. Relax. Breathe. Let. It. Go.
Once you liberate yourself from your past, and realize mistakes will always happen for all of us, you are free to go about your life living the way you deserve to live; with gratitude, forgiveness and peace in your heart.
You MUST give yourself that opportunity! You MUST understand that even with all those mistakes, I'll bet you're STILL doing some pretty awesome stuff with your life (just like I was/am).
Remove yourself from your inner turmoil and the purgatory of your own design. Begin fresh each day.
You have failed, and you will again... but that will never make you a failure.
Let go. Enjoy what you do. Hugs.
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