coffeecup005.jpgHave you ever dropped a donut you were enjoying or knocked over a drink or arrived somewhere that had just closed or leave late and miss part of a game you had tickets for? When that happened to me in my DoorMat days, I’d dream about what I missed out on and beat myself up all day for my part in missing out on something I’d have enjoyed. When we don’t love ourselves, we look for excuses to feel bad. Then I realized something that helped change that:

Pleasure from moments of having goodies or possessions or experiences are fleeting.

We often make a huge deal out of something that might be one small frame in our lives. Very few small things are worth lamenting over. Pay attention to your immediate response when you do something that causes you to miss out on something you wanted. Do you feel anger at yourself? Put yourself down? Hold onto your disappointment long after?

Self-love includes forgiving YOU for mistakes, and letting go of it fast.

I found a great technique for not holding onto negative emotions about something missed. It’s okay to feel disappointed right after. But it only hurts if you to make yourself feel worse about it. Each time you rebuke yourself, another notch of your self-esteem dies. That’s how I stayed in DoorMatville for so long. If you like living there, keep beating yourself up!

If you want to be happy, learn to look back and say, “It would have been over anyway!

When you live in the moment, what happened earlier is history. Over. Finito. And taking that to another level, you’d have been finished with whatever you missed out on by now. Today I found this helpful. Someone asked me to accompany them to an office in Manhattan and wait in the car while she took care of some business. I agreed and picked up a cup of my favorite coffee that I had bought to keep me and my magazine company.

Just after I parked, I went to rearrange my stuff and knocked over my coffee. Every drop spilled. My goal of having a peaceful cup of my favorite coffee was gone. I was disappointed and frustrated as I mopped it up. Fortunately my friend was quick so I didn’t have to wait without coffee for too long. On the way home I began to think of my coffee with sadness. Then I reminded myself that if I hadn’t spilled it I’d have finished it by then anyway. So in my now it didn’t matter!

Remembering I’d have finished the coffee made it not matter that I didn’t get to drink it.

Having the coffee would have made no difference in how I felt in general. I’d have had the pleasure of sipping it and forgotten about it once it was done. I use this same mentality when I pass on something unhealthy or a fattening dessert in a restaurant. I love myself enough to have willpower against eating things that aren’t good for me. When dinner is done, I remind myself that had I had the splurges they’d be finished anyway.

Live in NOW as much as you can. Leave your mistakes in the past. They’re over.

You’re good NOW. Whatever you missed out of is irrelevant to having a better life NOW. I got another cup of coffee. Yes, I’d rather have had it in the car but it doesn’t matter anymore since I’d have finished it long before. When I pass on dessert I strongly wanted, later I also acknowledge that if I’d had it the pleasure would have been long over so it doesn’t matter that I didn’t have it, except for the joy that I saved calories.

Treating yourself kindly nourishes self-love.

Dwelling on how you dropped your ice cream cone, missed the beginning of a movie, spilled your drink, etc., feeds unhappiness and keeps self-love out of reach. When I was a DoorMat I chose unhappiness. It was what I knew and was comfortable with. Now I know that you must make a choice to change the cycle of reinforcing why you don’t deserve love. Being conscious of your response to things you do that make you feel disappointed and letting mistakes go is a loving habit you can get into.

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