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Please begin with an informative title:

Or, Embarrassment & Quitting Don't Mix


GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

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Intro

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I think it's safe to say we've all had our embarrassing moments over the years: childhood mistakes and misunderstandings, teenage errors in judgment, and plenty of misfires, false starts, screw-ups, awkward moments and worse as we navigate through our messy adult lives.

Even the most confident (or indifferent) among us has probably had words or actions we've wanted to take back, or situations we wish had played out differently. Even my sweet but slightly bubble-headed foster kitty Jack is not immune. Every so often he'll confidently launch himself into some precarious situation or another (jumping onto a very high surface is usually the culprit) and fail in a rather spectacular fashion, plopping back down on his butt or sliding down a slippery vertical surface, claws out but doing little to halt his tumble from near glory.

Scccrrrraaaaaaaaaape....THUD.

Oooohhhh, so close.

       

But then he always does this little thing that cracks me up, and also kind of inspires me. See, when he's in the throes of post-FAIL kitty embarrassment, he'll immediately bolt for a different location and start furiously sharpening his claws on something, full of purpose, with an expression on his fuzzy little face that practically screams "Dude, I totally MEANT to do that!".

And I kind of believe him. Jack has mastered the art of letting go of his embarrassment almost instantly, and redirecting his energy into something that, while not precisely a productive activity (oh, my poor, shredded wing chair!) is at least not dwelling on the recent mishap and not focused on beating himself up for something in the past that can't be changed. Perhaps it's because he's got the memory of a goldfish, but Jack's not one for dwelling...and we can learn from that.

Hanging onto a sense of embarrassment for our past failures or screw-ups is a completely unproductive emotion. Learn from mistakes, sure. Acknowledge your imperfections, absolutely. People are imperfect creatures; we all mess up on occasion! But harbor embarrassment or shame over something that literally happens to everyone? That's just a big waste of time and energy better spent on forward-thinking pursuits, and on enacting positive change in the moment and going forward. Letting go of shame or embarrassment relating to past mistakes frees you up to focus on being a better, happier, healthier you in the future. Sometimes, Kitty knows best.

                             

                             

                             

Who's Your Little Buddy?
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