Posted by: mdmusingsie | May 24, 2015

Laugh ‘With’ Yourself

Yesterday I completed my first Irish driving lesson. As I posted earlier, instead of looking at the required 12 lessons as a burden, I’m using them as an opportunity to learn to drive a manual transmission (and according to my instructor, unlearn a few bad habits).

Twenty or even ten years ago I would have spent hours if not days berating myself for any mistakes I made, but a bit of wisdom does come with age (plus intermittent attendance at the school of hard knocks and some new age cognitive therapy). Nowadays I can laugh at my mistakes when my brain is in third gear and the car is still in first.

The same is true of my harp training. If one of my fingers plays a note when it’s not supposed to, I just laugh and say that finger ‘was feeling lonely or left out’.

The key is I’m laughing “with” myself and not “at” myself. If I were laughing “at” myself there would have been an element of shame, guilt and/or inadequacy. When I laugh “with” myself I’m instantly relaxed and can carry on with my mind fully engaged in the present moment instead of rooted in the past reliving perceived inadequacies ad nauseam.

As my perfectionist inner critic dies a slow and overdue death, I even feel better about accepting compliments. I received two in two days! My harp teacher said I was doing quite well and she could really see that my playing had improved in the last month. Then the driving instructor, despite one of my bad habits, told me I was doing very well – even after only 1 lesson (I only conked the car out once and that was parking it back at the house).

Instead of worrying about their motivation or trying to find the flaws in their logic my critic would have been convinced must be there, I held my head a little higher and told myself I’m doing just fine.

What happened in the last hour, day, month, etc. cannot be changed, so laugh with yourself if you make a mistake. Accept that you are human and imperfect. Let go of the past and allow yourself to live today as it should be.


  1. One of the many joys of getting wiser as one gets older!

  2. You go girl!

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