Nobody knows what the hell they are doing. Remember when 9/11 happened? I was in college and watched the news incessantly like everyone else. On one show, immediately following this event, they put on Maya Angelou. Why? Because they had no idea what the hell they were doing. She knows nothing of foreign relations and interior defense, but everyone knows she is very comforting and wise, so they put her on in hopes that she would be, but that was the wrong choice in that situation. We make life up as we go and the if you look closely, you can see that we make up the rules, and if we make them up, we can change them.
It’s all about confidence. In college, I had this TA who was tall, broad-shouldered, and really good-looking, but he was very much a nerd and closed off. You could tell he wasn’t secure with who he was. Why? The only thing separating him from those who projected a better appearance was confidence. You can still be a nerd and confident, but people view you differently when you are. When I was younger, I attracted different types of guys than when I do now because of how confident I am. Nothing has really changed except I gained a few pounds and don’t wear flared pants anymore. I’m still a nerd and into Star-Trek, but it’s cool if you’re confident and nerdy if you’re not.
Your parents are just kids who fell into this mess. As kids and adults, you ascribe so much reverence to your parents, but not all parents are deserving. My parents were fine, but there were moments when they yelled at me for things I didn’t do and I wondered why they didn’t love me. I realize now that they are just humans trying to cope with their lives the best way they know how and they sometimes make mistakes. As kids, we never even think of their lives before they had us, and I see now that that has shaped them and their parenting skills. I forgive them for what they didn’t know and thank them for what they did.
You have to forgive yourself. I used to hold on to these embarrassing moments all my life and cringe when I recalled them. I hated things i had done in the past and hated that old me. Just like forgiving my parents, I realized I had to learn to forgive myself and cut myself some slack. I was in a not great relationship for 5 years and beat myself up for staying so long, but I see now that that is just how long I took to learn the lesson. It doesn’t matter how long you take and how you compare yourself to others, it only matters that you learned the lesson. You are going to make mistakes, too, so please choose to see your mistakes as lessons instead. We are not the culmination of our mistakes, but we are the embodiment of what we have learned from them.