by Amy | Mar 10, 2023
I got to connect with one of my readers today and she gave me the sweetest compliment. She said, “You have this tenacity for living and it inspires me and it makes my personality come out.”
This touched me so deeply and I want to dedicate this post to you Sharon Elaines and all the beings on my journey who have given so much to help me see things differently.
Humans make mistakes. Sometimes catastrophic mistakes. The kind of mistakes that make us wonder how we could ever forgive ourselves.
I had panic attacks my entire childhood and into my teens. When they set in, I was overcome with the thought that I had done something horrible, something I could never take back.
Maybe it happened in a different life. All I know is the feeling of being fundamentally unforgivable had been burned into my DNA since the day I was born.
And then there have been the mistakes of this lifetime. So many.
I have used people to satisfy my ego, nearly wrecked my marriage, neglected to do everything I could to save someone and they died.
It is my spiritual perspective that we attract experiences to us so that we can learn from them. And we’ll keep attracting them over and over until we finally learn what we need to.
I don’t expect you, dear reader, to agree with my spiritual perspective and I don’t share this to justify or excuse the pain that others experience.
It’s just how I make sense of things.
Recently I ordered some chicks. They were delivered late because of the snow storms and I for various reasons I couldn’t pick them up until late in the day. I set them up in a spot I thought would work. I’ve raised chicks twice before so I thought I knew what I was doing.
When I took them out of their box, two were already gone. The others were lethargic.
I know it wasn’t entirely my fault. But in retrospect, I let them get too cold. One by one, all of the babies died.
I’ve been sitting with this for the past two weeks. Rehashing all the things I should have done differently. Asking myself over and over how to offer myself forgiveness when lives were lost in part because of my own negligence.
And here’s what I’ve learned about self forgiveness.
Guilt can show us how to do things differently the next time. But shame makes us incapable of turning towards our mistakes to learn.
When we carry shame, some of us would rather numb the pain so we turn ourselves into addicts.
When we carry shame, some of us would rather put the responsibility on the outside world so we turn bitter, angry and mean.
When we carry shame, some of us would do anything but face our mistakes, so we make other people wrong, we point fingers, we externalize our own shame.
When we carry shame, some of us seek to make up for it by punishing ourselves. We deny ourselves love, compassion and understanding. And then we attract sickness, disease and struggle into our lives as a “penance.”
For me, over the years, it has been all of the above.
And what I’ve learned is that in this energy of shame where I can’t see a path to self forgiveness, I repel goodness from my life because a part of me believes I don’t deserve it.
I have spent so much of my energy running from my mistakes instead of offering myself forgiveness.
And what I finally see is that the constant running keeps me from fully coming into myself and the gifts I have to share to with the world. I cannot show up in service to humanity the way I want to when I carry all this shame.
The irony is that I’m writing a book called Forgiving Amy and five years into this writing project, I am finally learning how to forgive myself.
Here are some ways I work to forgive myself:
I feel my feelings. I don’t try to escape them. I sit with them in acceptance, and I give myself compassion while I experience them.
I repeat the Ho’oponopono prayer: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
I journal about my feelings and write about my experiences.
I do things to honor the beings I have hurt by learning from my mistakes, taking responsibility for them and finding rituals to acknowledge the hurt I have caused others.
P.S. If you’ve made it this far, I hope this post inspires you to let your personality come out. May it give you the courage to look at your own mistakes with compassion, honesty and grace. Please don’t feel the need to offer me your thoughts on why the chicks may have passed or the choices I made around that. Thank you so much.
P.P.S. I’d love to hear how this post impacts you personally and any other strategies you have used to give yourself grace after your mistakes.
by Amy | Feb 23, 2023
Last night I spoke to a coach-in-training who was feeling insecure. She had been a lawyer before embarking on this new path, getting paid big bucks to give advice. Now, she was having to unlearn all of that. Coaches, you see, don’t give advice. We use powerful... read more
by Amy | Feb 17, 2023
Last week I had a dream. The details of the dream don’t matter. What’s important is that brought up a very raw, very old sadness in me. I met with my dream coach and we unpacked it together. Here’s what it showed me: As a little girl, I felt lonely and unloved.... read more
by Amy | Feb 2, 2023
(This is me with my friend’s dogs. Cute!!!) I was making dinner the other night when a text came through. It was from my daughter’s cheer team. They wanted her to come for last-minute team pictures the following day. I hadn’t planned on another layer of... read more
by Amy | Jan 27, 2023
Do you ever find yourself ruminating over stressful thoughts? I thought so. Here’s an easy trick. It comes from a school of psychology called Action and Commitment Therapy.
For more on ACT: Check out The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris.
For more from Being Amy: http://www.BeingAmyTheBlog.com
by Amy | Jan 19, 2023
Last week I posted to my blog after a year-long hiatus. In true form, I shared a lot of myself. It’s interesting, the me of 2017 was much more willing to do these things. But the me of 2023 feels so much more deeply. There are so many feels. There is self-doubt. There... read more
by Amy | Jan 12, 2023
I don’t know about you, but 2022 was a year of whiplash and vertigo, great highs and low lows. Disappointment. Joy. Everything else in between. Somebody smart once said that “all great things are proceeded by chaos.” Well, say what you will about chaos, I find it fertile ground for perspective shifts and insight. 2022 did not disappoint. Here are a few of my aha moments from last year…
by Amy | Mar 17, 2021
“Imagine you are looking at a rainbow.” It was a Saturday night and I was lying on my bed listening to Srikumar Rao talk about happiness. “You don’t say to yourself, ‘that’s a beautiful rainbow but it needs a little more color or it needs to be closer to that... read more
by Amy | Mar 6, 2021
The photo above is my beautiful daughter taken at a mystical spot on Mount Shasta on her thirteenth birthday. The photo was taken by Paul of Venus. Years ago I learned a prayer from the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. It goes like this: Please guide me from... read more
by Amy | Feb 25, 2021
Hey. I haven’t written in weeks. Honestly I haven’t because I’m not feeling helpful or inspiring. 2020 and early 2021 have humbled me. If the past thirteen odd months have shown me anything, these months have shown me that I don’t know shit. It’s unsettling to not... read more
by Amy | Jan 29, 2021
“I love you.” I’m trying to get my kids to tell themselves “I love you,” every time they see themselves in the mirror. They are twelve and ten now, so they roll their eyes at me. In the entry there is a giant mirror. Joy does cartwheels in front of it. Now she makes a... read more
by Amy | Jan 14, 2021
I used to want to be so many things. I called it ambition. At first I was apologetic for this ambition. Then I learned to embrace it. To be proud of it. I wanted to be a millionaire, to speak on big stages, to be fluent in five languages, to lose ten pounds, to solve... read more
by Amy | Dec 31, 2020
“The world is messy; there are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids, and share certain things with you.” – Barack Obama Lots of things got cancelled this year, parties, sports, performances… and... read more
by Amy | Dec 16, 2020
Yesterday I spent most of the morning tinkering around the house. I did a little laundry, I fixed a nutcracker, ordered a shower cap from amazon. You know, trivial things. I can’t even remember what the hell I did for two hours… You know what else? I loved it. I made... read more
by Amy | Dec 4, 2020
In Finding Your Own North Star, Martha Beck shares a concept called “the urge to merge.” It’s an “intense, almost chemical reaction that comes out of nowhere that makes some person, place or thing so attractive to you that for a while you can’t think about much else.”... read more
by Amy | Nov 19, 2020
The other day I made tentative plans with a friend to do something over the weekend. The day before, I realized I had to do some “momming” (this is my new word for running around like a decapitated chicken trying to get kids places on time), so I texted her to cancel.... read more
by Amy | Oct 30, 2020
Yesterday I had my first ever city league tennis match. I won. Barely. By a 10-point tie-breaker (12-10). Warming up with my opponent, I was pretty sure I had her. I started strong. In fact, I was starting to feel preemptively sorry for her. Somehow managing to... read more
by Amy | Oct 28, 2020
We adults take life too seriously. And it shuts down our ability to access our genius. If you are even a little bit familiar with greek mythology, you have most likely heard of muses. They are the goddesses of inspiration of literature, science and the arts.... read more
by Amy | Oct 7, 2020
A few years ago I came up with this list of 21 things (and counting) that over the years have helped me to get into a high vibe, happy place. Because no matter how chaotic it feels, you still deserve to be happy. And you being a stressed out, angry basket case... read more
by Amy | Sep 24, 2020
Over the past several weeks I have had several emails from folks compelled to write to me about my use of “profanity.” So I thought I would respond to one of them. Amy, It is disappointing and downright disrespectful for me to receive email laced with profanity. Do... read more
by Amy | Aug 27, 2020
That’s me living the life at Glacier National Park. I’m back and things are rocking and rolling — I wanted to give you a few updates. The other day I got my results back from the Strenghsfinder. If you’re not familiar, it’s an online... read more
by Amy | Aug 26, 2020
When I got married years ago, I was under the impression that it was up to my husband to meet my needs and anticipate what I wanted (and give it to me). Princess anyone? I didn’t realize it at the time, but I saw myself as a piece of property. Like a nice watch or a... read more
by Amy | Aug 20, 2020
I remember the first ever time I walked into a Burn Cycle class. My friend invited me to go with her… “First time?” She asked. “Yes…” I replied. That’s when she raised her eyebrows and gave me an ominous look that said sarcastically, “good luck.” Just getting on the... read more
by Amy | Aug 13, 2020
This morning my daughter went MIA before school. We only had 10 minutes left before it was time to leave for the bus and she still hadn’t finished her homework, eaten any breakfast, brushed her teeth or put on her shoes. I found her outside barefoot with some neighbor... read more
by Amy | Aug 6, 2020
I was born into a chaotic household. My parents were addicts. My three older sisters were teenagers, barely supervised, who were expected to take care of me and eventually my little brother who was born a few years later. My mom called herself a functional drunk. She... read more
by Amy | Jul 23, 2020
I have a subscription to a program called Master Writer. It helps me find synonyms, phrases, verbs… basically different words I could use when I’m stuck in my writing. Looking up a word in Master Writer requires me to load the app in my browser. Inevitably... read more
by Amy | Jul 9, 2020
Why did you do it? This is number one question I get when people see me for the first time since I shaved my head. There are many layers to this answer. One is practical. Sitting in a chair for two hours is just TOO MUCH for me. Plus it’s expensive, and probably... read more
by Amy | Jun 25, 2020
So… I shaved my head last week. Well, I didn’t. My hair stylist, Morgan, did. Since then, I’ve heard the phrase, “pull it off,” many times. Things like… “You have a good face, you can pull it off. ” Or… “I’ve thought about shaving my head, but I could never pull it... read more
by Amy | Jun 18, 2020
I am thinking a lot about pretty. All my life, I have aspired to be seen as acceptable in your eyes. “Don’t you look pretty?” You would say and I would think to myself, I passed. I have successfully maintained the correct weight, applied the right combination of... read more
by Amy | Jun 3, 2020
I remember when Black Lives Matter became a common meme. I didn’t get it. I was the first to think, “Wait. All lives matter.” I felt defensive, like someone was telling me that black lives matter more than other lives. What I came to realize was that of course all... read more
by Amy | Apr 30, 2020
The other day my nine year old informed me she was going to be a baker when she grows up. “For my first project, I’m going to make cake pops,” she added. This statement filled me with hope and dread. Hope because I could see big things in her future. A... read more