What happens when we have a misstep? What do we make of it? I’ve had some practice with this, as most artists and every mother most certainly has. What is interesting about missteps are the moments when we can actually HEAR THE MESSAGE the universe wants us to receive. ** On Friday, I had a misstep. I LITERALLY missed a step while I was rushing down the stairs outside my daughter’s school to help my mother-in-law find her way to a hard-to-find parking garage. As I moved to flag down her car in order to hop in and help her park, I missed the bottom step.
My PLAN was to take my daughter and my mother-in-law to lunch after my child's senior project presentation. But what HAPPENED was that I crushed my ankle. **
I had a choice to make that day. I could create a story that the misstep was CAUSED BY something external to me, making the steps or my mother-in-law AT FAULT. OR I could create a story that the misstep was MY FAULT, because I over-accommodated or because I wasn't being mindful. Both of those stories would make me a victim and require energy be allocated to either blaming something/someone else or shaming myself. But there is a third choice. Almost immediately, I received the teaching this MISSTEP was offering, which was that I could just allow myself to feel hurt. I could just allow myself to be kind to the parts of myself that felt sad and disappointed and to the parts that felt unseen and uncared for.
When I did that, I could stay present to what followed FREE FROM the further injury that RESISTING my feelings (and blaming or shaming, instead) would have caused. I took each step that followed one-at-a-time. I cancelled a doctor's appointment I had made for my son. I asked a friend to drive my daughter to work. I asked my "ice-hockey husband" to take my son to hockey. I asked my boyfriend to take me to urgent care.
By tending to my feelings and making requests for support, I noticed that an added gift presented itself. There was a sweetness in letting others in. They gave more than I asked. I have meals for the next four days. What is the message the universe wants you to receive from a misstep? Add an extra serving of compassion to whatever happens this week, dear ones. And may you find sweetness in every mindful step that follows!