This is PART TWO of a three-part blog about what to do when dreams fall apart – and steps to re-design your life
To recap, in PART ONE I shared in more detail about the dream that fell apart for me… and I also shared with you steps you can take to get to redesign your life afresh by first:
- Exploring how you can see things differently
- Reframing the way you think
- Having a language of acceptance
Dignity: We Lost it When We Judge Ourselves
When everything seems to fall apart in our lives, the first thing we do is judge ourselves for our failings.
We look out into the world and see the standards we were born into… and if we’re not meeting those standards, we judge – harshly. And when we do this, we take away our own dignity. We’re embarrassed about our failings. Our private and public identity is at stake, so its difficult to forgive ourselves. Worse still, we may not even know forgiveness as an option! We’ve learnt to be so self-critical that we do not know any other way.
I had a reputation. People saw me as successful, a measure against which they could only wish to live up to. I was embarrassed, ashamed and incredibly regretful when my husband and I had to sell our dream home. For me, a lot was at stake.
By looking at the standards I was born into and had adopted over my life experiences, now I could decide how I wanted to apply them in the future. Yes, we had breached our own standards, but yes, we are learners… and yes – we can pick up and start again!
I found out my dignity was up to me.
I had to learn to forgive and you can too. Your dignity is up to you.
Dignity – the Process of Forgiving Yourself
- Apologise to you (or someone else)
- Forgive you
- Get back into that state of curiosity
- Declare this part of your life over and move on
According to the dictionary, wisdom is having the experience, knowledge and is the quality of being wise. It’s based around sensible thinking.
Well let me tell you, I was the harshest critic of my ‘sensible thinking’ you could get! You can see where this is going right? A lot was at stake for me. I didn’t feel as though I could face the world if we lost everything we’d built. I’d built up a story of what it means to be wise, and prudent. I had a massive breakdown over this.
I wondered how would I cope if people knew I hadn’t managed our finances well… and if they knew we’d had to give up the thing that mattered most to us – having a house over our heads?
Then I learned that we’re not wise until we’re wise. Sounds confusing? For me, it was as clear as day. I knew I hadn’t learned to be wise over my lifespan. I decided I couldn’t judge myself for that. Instead, I could observe how this had affected my decisions.
The choices we made have bought us closer to our family, improved the quality of our relationship and set us free to choose.
Now we do exercise caution, we do have good judgment, wisdom and common sense – as a result of the life lessons we learned over this time. You can’t put a price on that!
As Humans We Can All be Learners
Follow this exact formula (this is exactly what I did)…
- Be very clear about where you think you went wrong and what you hadn’t learned as a human
- Use that opportunity not to judge yourself, but to learn new skills – declare yourself a learner!
- Remember the times you have been wise in the past – there will be at least one – use that!
- Forgive yourself fully! You have to declare this out loud.
Forgiveness isn’t possible when you don’t know what it is you’re forgiving.
Use this experience to figure out what you need to forgive yourself for then declare it to yourself over and over and over again – until your brain convinces your body it’s the truth. Then you can move on.
Having a curiosity about wisdom and life experiences has made a transformational difference in my life.
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