Hi. My name is Jill.
And I wear Spanx.
Three weeks ago, I walked into the showroom we have at our HQ and began to visit with a few of our customers. Afterward, I walked back into my office, sat down in my chair, and noticed something that made me do a double take. I thought I was wearing all black that day, but now, apparently, I was wearing beige. Which, by the way, is definitely not my color. In any season.
Somehow my shirt had gotten pulled up and caught in itself, and I did not notice it. However, I am certain everyone in the showroom saw it because my entire middle section was now a light tan color with a tag sticking out that read, “SPANX.”
Immediately I tried to fix the embarrassment.
I ran back into the showroom to let everyone know I was now aware of my fashion failure. As if that was going to make it all okay.
Whether we find ourselves in an awkward and embarrassing moment or say something we cannot take back, we become experts at replaying and analyzing that scene in our heads. Additionally, we get STUCK on repeat when other people let us down. We replay the hurt, disappointment, or embarrassment so many times that it feels like we are painfully reliving it over and over.
We talk about it to anyone who will listen.
We text about it to anyone who will read it.
It becomes like a uniform we put on each day.
Years ago, I put into practice this phrase:
Mourn the moment without memorializing it.
To memorialize something means to keep the memory of it alive. I am not speaking of losing loved ones or grieving things of that nature. My dad will forever be memorialized in my heart. “Mourning the moment without memorializing it” refers to disappointment that turns into resentment. Or embarrassment that evolves into insecurity.
Here is how the phrase Mourn the Moment without Memorializing It works:
1. When one of these moments occurs in your life, pull out your calendar, clock, or a timer. Then, decide that you will give yourself the space and time to be disappointed, downcast, or embarrassed. After all, we ARE human beings with genuine and raw emotions. To pretend nothing happened is the quickest way to build up a wall.
2. Decide on the length of time you will allow yourself to be disappointed about that thing. Some moments take hours; some take weeks or months. And then set a time after which you will no longer memorialize that moment.
3. When that date or time hits, you purposefully and intentionally MOVE ON.
Which means you won’t sit in that moment any longer. You won’t continue to talk about it or dwell on it, thus keeping the memory of it alive.
Sixty minutes is precisely how long I gave myself during Spanx-gate. I set the clock and buried my head in the embarrassment of a wardrobe malfunction. For sixty long minutes. Knowing there was nothing I could do to change it. And I never talked about it after that one hour, until today. As trivial as the Spanx example may sound, I have also used this practice for much more difficult obstacles and deeper disappointments.
It gives you the freedom to process the pain with a plan to move past it. It is OKAY to weep, but know that there is JOY on the other side. Decide to no longer memorialize the moments, and they will stop becoming the glue that keeps you stuck in a season God wants you to leave behind.