One mistake.

One mistake, is all that it takes, and those ugly destructive thoughts of self-loathing return, like a thick summer swarm of black flies and mosquitoes, relentlessly attacking and sucking on our confidence, until we are broken.

We all battle those thoughts.

We are at war with ourselves.

We have our own scars and battles.

Our own stories.

Like the mythological Trojan horse, we fight ourselves on the inside, but we smile reluctantly on the outside. 

Everything is fine, you say. 

Everything is great. 

You are living the life, you say. 

You are living the dream.

Nothing is wrong.

On the inside, things scream a different story.  Your existence is dark and bleak.  When things don’t go well, you once again hurl insults on ourselves, until you submit and bring yourself to your knees. 

We protect ourselves from ourselves.

If we don’t try we can’t possibly fail.  If we don’t try, we can’t really make mistakes. 

If we only avoid failure and making mistake, we will escape judgement, and get to live another day.

But an escape of judgement, leaves us with not much of a life.

Life becomes a damp cave, and we take our turn, watching shadows on the wall.  We cease to live.  We accept a life sentence of merely existing.

Useless.  Stupid.  Fat.  Ugly. 

Insignificant.  Unlovable.  A total and absolute failure. 

Miserable fuck.  A mistake.  A waste of space. 

A burden.  Never good enough.

When you catch your own thoughts. 

When you listen to yourself scream obscenities in your own head, it is hard to believe that we need enemies to destroy us.  We are our own worst critic.  Judge, jury, and executioner.

One mistake.

Or perhaps one solitary gaze at ourselves in the mirror.

Several times a day.  Each day.  Every day.

The only way to fight those blood sucking flies is to see in ourselves what we believe is there in the first place.  We must stop obsessing on our failures and come to own our mistakes.  A mistake is an event.  Failure is not a person.

We get to live another day.

We must look ourselves in the eyes.  Those beautiful eyes of ours and claim back who and what we are.  We need to do this often.  We need to do this daily.

Even if you don’t believe it, you should claim who you want to be.

Imagine the possibilities. 

Talk to yourself often, especially when things are good, so that when the voices inevitably return, they are not as powerful, or a little less potent.

Be good to yourself.  Love yourself.

Get out of the prison of your own making.

You cannot have before you do, and you cannot do, before you become who you truly are. 

A human being.

Nothing will ever change.  You will never grow, unless you start looking inside the depths of your soul, and begin making peace with yourself.

Peace with what happened to you.  Peace with your regrets.  Peace with your mistakes and failures.  Peace, not war.

In the end, none of it will really matter.

You won’t have to account for what you did, but how you lived.  Not what you were given, but what you gave.

Give yourself a chance to be who you are.  Give yourself a chance to be happy.

See yourself as others do.

Be beautiful.  Be handsome.  Be strong.  Be vulnerable.

Be an inspiration for others.

Give yourself a chance.