Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Celebrate Miracles

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Photo credit: Luminari 

"Inhale confidence. Exhale doubt."-unknown
On Monday, I had the privilege to present to high school students. The topic was "confidence". One of my messages was to transform their self-talk, the inner voices they tell themselves, from negative messages to positive ones. At the beginning, they asked me what I was good at and without hesitation, I said, "I am a good mom." I completed the speech feeling good, smug and a little proud. Then, later that night, I was tested. As they say, "pride comes before the fall..."

I almost made a serious mistake. 

When bottles look alike, errors can happen.


There were two bottles near one another. One had essential oils and the other had gripe water, something I give my baby to soothe him and relieve his gas. I almost gave him the essential oils orally. Fortunately, I noticed the error before I actually did anything wrong. I had never realized how much those bottles looked alike before. They are nearly the same size and color. The thing about this is that in my job, I hear about medical professionals who make medication errors because of "look alike" or "sound alike" drugs. And I never understood how until now. Your brain can get on autopilot and mistakes can happen. That's why we need to build perfect systems because people are as imperfect as they come. We make mistakes.

After I realized my error, I Googled the potential consequences. And I was shook. I almost did a very bad thing. Even though nothing happened. It was a near miss. Had I not smelled the oil and looked at the bottle I could have given it to him. And I love my son so much that the reality of what could have happened disrupted my entire evening. I began to doubt myself. I thought things like, "Maybe I'm not a good mom." "Maybe I a super selfish because I was trying to eat dinner and wanted to watch TV and was complaining about being home alone when this happened." "Maybe I am unfit?" Those thoughts interfered with my ability to function well and I just went to bed. Fortunately, it was nearly bedtime anyway.

Had I just told those high school students to transform their negative self-talk hours prior? YUP! I felt like a total fraud. 
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The newest apple of my eye

Acknowledge the miracles that happen in your life.


Here is the thing. I have never been comfortable with making mistakes. Growing up there were two ways. The right way and the wrong way. The right way was what was expected. The wrong way was what stupid, careless people did. There was no room for mistakes. The next day, I had an epiphany.

I was  listening to Joel Osteen, reflecting on the prior night. I don't listen to him every day, but on this morning when I was still feeling the afterglow of my almost mistake, I needed help. While listening, I realized that my guilt about what might have happened was stealing my joy for the miracle that did  actually happen. When I focused on what I actually happened, I realized the truth, I didn't make the mistake. I recognized the potential error. Everything was fine. My baby was happy and healthy. The other kids were happy and healthy. I was healthy and my entire family was healthy too. My tribe was good. I also learned a lesson about look alike bottles that will help me create a safer home. 

And, I realized I could say out loud without feeling like a fraud, "I am a good mom." So, I inhaled--deeply. I held in all of that confidence and I exhaled all of that doubt that had seeped in over those 24 hours. I needed that confidence in order to love my kids the way the needed to be loved, and to do everything else that needed to be done. And I realized that what happened was a gift because I became more heightened to home risks. 
I can honestly say that I am better for this and have a lesson for all of you below.

Here's my lesson for all of us: Let us all focus on our miracles instead of being paralyzed by "What if".

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