“Mistake” should be my middle name, I’ve made so so many bad choices it’s hard to keep count. You might have come here to see me open the doors to my big closet to let the skeletons out, if that’s true, well, this isn’t the point of this post. Whether it was my failed first marriage, my letting others take advantage of my vulnerability, loving the wrong people, giving myself over to people with bad intentions, maintained friendships with toxic people, or even my bad temper and impulsive behavior, if there was a mistake to make, I made it. Afterwards, I was filled with so much shame and regret. I gave the mistakes my power and it consumed me. I was lost in them.
We all make mistakes in our life (for various reasons) but the question is do you repeat them? Alas, yes yes I repeated many of my mistakes (even justified them) until I really learned the lesson it was meant to teach me. Until I took my power back and stopped giving my mistakes power over me. Then, and only then, was I able to move on. Do I have regrets or even feelings of shame when I think back? Sure I do. But I don’t let that stop me from being who I am meant to be. I am in power now.
Looking back, I see each mistake, error in judgement, in-deliberate (or deliberate) act or whatever you want to call it as a period of growth, sometimes even painful and ugly growth, but when I learned my lesson and learned not to repeat my mistakes, only then was I was able to climb to the next level in my physical and spiritual existence. Life is not easy peasy for but it’s what you do with it that’s important. Do I still make mistakes, I sure do, but I am more aware of them than I ever was and I truly believe that as squeamish as some of my past makes me, I am a better person for it.
We all do what we think is the best thing for us at each moment in time, and sometimes (many times) we miss the mark but in the end each experience we’ve had has made us who we are and we should be proud of any growth we’ve experienced as we continue on our life’s path – looking back only to learn but not to dwell in the past.
Mistakes are OK
Why is it ok to make mistakes, well, we’re not perfect, mistakes teaches us something and help us grow but mistakes DO NOT define us or who we are. We need to be kind to ourselves, even in those cringe moments. That is one of the keys to empowerment. You and only you can define who you are. When we feel shame it’s mostly because of what we perceive others think of us, stop giving them that power. Own your mistakes and use them as leverage for your life.
I’ve encountered many people who were afraid to even try for fear of making the wrong choice. But, we can’t go through life being afraid to make mistakes. No one is perfect, and it’s only through trial and error that you learn what’s best for you. Just look at my life’s journey, if I only knew then what I know now, but then I wouldn’t be WHO I am now.
Part of my growth journey has also been to forgive myself and others for “mistakes”. Embracing and appreciating the opportunities while not beating myself up about things is certainly not an easy task but it’s such an important part of my growth journey – being accountable and true to myself. Also opening myself to share more, to be vulnerable. My story is valid and others can learn from it. More life lessons I am teaching my boys, even if I’m not the perfect mom and make lots of mistakes.
I want to end with one of my favorite Brene Brown quotes:
“If we are going to find our way out of shame and back to each other, vulnerability is the path and courage is the light. To set down those lists of *what we’re supposed to be* is brave. To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”
Deep breath. One.step.at.a.time.