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Do The Next Right Thing

I know today this is a song from Frozen 2, but back in 2014 it was the most important reminder in my life. I had it engraved into a ring I wore every day once I completed my treatment program. What I realized after much trial and error was that for me, the disappointment in myself after a set-back or relapse did more harm than the relapse itself. I would spend hours, days, even weeks so upset with myself for messing up that it would sabotage any attempts to try again. I would dwell on my failure and hate myself for it. What I finally learned was that the only helpful thing I could do after making a mistake was to do the NEXT right thing. I would acknowledge my mistake and then reset and try again.

Last week, I was guilty of a real mom-fail. I was having breakfast and enjoying a rare moment to myself during this quarantine, until my daughter ran down the stairs with a princess dress in hand, asking me to change her outfit for the third time that morning. She was so excited, but I told her I’d change her after my breakfast. She was insistent and so was I. And I responded to her with an attitude of “ugh…changing your dress is literally the last thing I want to do right now!” I didn’t say it, but I was definitely thinking it. And she sensed it and she burst into tears. I. Felt. TERRIBLE! About an hour later, I quietly set a new intention for the day. I decided to try my best to not only be present with her but to be present with her with a positive attitude. The difference in our day was so apparent. It was so much better!

One thing my daughter does that makes me smile every time is say, “That’s OK, mom!” when I spill something, drop something, or do something wrong. I love that “that’s OK!” is her first reaction. It is the exact same reaction of acceptance and love I want her to have for herself when she makes mistakes in life. As long as we are committed to trying again and doing the NEXT right thing, it really is all OK.

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