“Coach, can you put me in a different position?” A 9-year-old softball player asked me in between innings. She had tears in her eyes, and as one of her coaches, I wanted to help.
“Why do you want to go to another position?” I asked, surprised. I had never heard her sound so insecure.
Then it hit me, she had just made a mistake in the field in the last inning.
“Is it because you made a mistake?” I asked curiously.
She nodded yes.
I put my arm around her shoulders, and I whispered, “I am 41-years-old and I still make mistakes every day. I promise you that you will make another mistake, maybe even in this game. But, it’s not about the mistake. It’s about what you do with the mistake. Feel the disappointment, learn, and move on.”
She stood there processing what I was saying.
“What did you learn from your mistake?” I asked gently.
She told me what she could do better if she were in that situation again.
I leaned in and looked her in the eyes. She stared intently back. I said, “You’ve got this.”
She sighed, dried her tears, grabbed her glove, and went back to her position.
When she ran onto the field, I thought of myself. All the times I beat myself up for silly things, big things, miscellaneous things…things that are so big in my mind and not big, at all, in the minds of others.
I thought of all of the other instances I had helped guide these 9/10-year-old softball players through their struggles of defeat, and one thing hit me that is also true for me when I make a mistake.
I don’t feel good enough.
Except, I don’t pause to let myself just feel that, and move on.
This morning, in fact, I was contemplating all that has happened this year and asked myself this question in meditation, “What is going to keep me from moving forward into my greatness?”
Waves of my past pointed to a pattern of poignant disregard for the underlying issue…that in those tough moments…I didn’t heal the not good enough parts of me. I have never gone back to those moments and let myself be there, let myself feel my feelings.
But, I did today.
And I hugged me. I hugged the version of me that I was when I was being hurt.
I caressed her face the same way I do my daughters when she is upset. I held her hand. I told her it’s going to be ok. I told her that she is good enough. I told her to feel her feelings, learn, and move on.
It felt good to be gentle with all versions of myself in the same way I am gentle with others.
So, my mantra for this week (and perhaps, for forever): feel, learn, move on.
Being enough is given. Knowing we are enough is a choice. Believing we are enough is work. Do the work.