Perfection is a myth.
The only perfect thing about us is our perfect ability to make mistakes.
The other day I was in my kitchen just finishing up lunch. As I got up from the table to take care of the lunch debris my mind was mulling some things over and I put the milk in the microwave and my leftovers in the cabinet. I would like to say that I noticed my mistake right off. But I can't. Truth be told it wasn't until a few hours later when I went to reheat a cup of coffee that I found the milk. I can't blame a senior moment- I am only 35. I can't blame it on anything really, so instead I laughed. A real deep belly laugh and continued on with my day. Wasn't the first time and sure as hell won't be the last that I do something so incredibly stupid. Like for instance making a pot of coffee and forgetting to put the pot underneath so that the coffee goes EVERYWHERE. Or forgetting there is a door to my office when I get up to make my way to the copier and walking into it. The door has only been there forever. Or maybe the time when I forgot to put the cover on my travel mug and poured hot coffee all over the front of myself.
Apparently I am human. Therefore I make mistakes.
Usually when I have one of my "Jenn Moments", as my husband calls them, it is witnessed by a bunch of people who all ending up laughing- at me. I could berate myself for my missteps; call myself names and beat myself up for being dumb. I could. But I don't. Instead I laugh at myself and shake my head. Swear that I will stop daydreaming and focus more on the mundane tasks I have before me. But I don't.
We are human. Being human means we make mistakes. We trip over imaginary cracks in a parking lot and fall flat on our face. We miss our mouth when eating and get stains on our shirts. Sometimes we forget things. Sometimes we burn dinner. Sometimes we make “grammer erros” and typos when writing or mix word order up because we are thinking faster then we can type. We sometimes say things out loud that we only meant to keep as thoughts and sometimes we put the milk in the microwave instead of the refrigerator where it belongs.
Sometimes we make mistakes.
Big ones. Little ones. Funny ones. Oh! No! ones. Mistakes come in all shapes and sizes. There are relationship mistakes. There is morning after mistakes. There is having too many margarita mistakes. The I-should-have-tried-harder-mistakes. There is the blowing your budget mistakes and the fighting with your friend mistakes. The not admitting when you are wrong mistakes. I could go on- but I think you probably get it.
Perfection is a myth. The only perfect thing about us is our perfect ability to make mistakes. We make mistakes that hurt. Sometimes the mistakes we make have some serious repercussions. We make big mistakes that cost us emotionally, mentally, and monetarily. We regret them. We go over and over what we should have done differently, said differently, and how we could have reacted differently. We second guess everything that led up to the mistake and allow the coulda-shoulda-woulda to take over. We berate ourselves for our mistake. Vow to make it right or vow to never do it again. It eats away at us and causes fear. Sometimes we let that fear take over our minds and control our actions. We allow the fear to stop us from trying again because we are convinced we will make another mistake. We fear saying sorry. We fear owning up to our mistake. Often choosing to walk away from the fallout of what we have done because it is easier then admitting our error. We blame others. We find excuses and in turn; fail to see what it taught us. We fail to see beyond the mistake to how it can make us a better person
Failing to own the mistakes we make in itself is a mistake.
Once I walked out of my house and pulled the door closed behind me. It was locked. No one was home and there I stood on my deck, no shoes on, looking into my home knowing that unless I shattered the window- I wasn't getting back in. I was furious. Furious at the door, the lock, and the unfairness of it. I had things to do and places to go. It wasn't part of the day I had planned. I was angry at everything- but myself. I wanted back inside to something that my mistake had locked me out of. I did not have a secret key or magical power to make the situation go away. I wasn't going to break in. I had to suck it up and walk a mile in my socks to where there was a spare key.
I made the mistake. I had no one to be mad at but myself. But instead of standing there wailing at the injustice of it all. I pulled myself up and did what I had to do to make it right. It was painful- walking a long stretch of road with no shoes on. It was humiliating to have to ask for the spare key because of what I had done. But in doing so I was let back in.
Same thing goes with mistakes in life. We have to own them. Stop making excuses and do what we have to do to make it right. We have to laugh at ourselves. We have to stop being so quick to point out the mistakes that others make and focus only on the ones we make. No one in the life is perfect. No one will ever be perfect. So why do you berate and hate on yourself so much when you make a mistake? Making mistakes means that you are living your life. Your life that is not defined by your mistakes. Your life is defined by how you handle your mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes that we make are disguised opportunities. Opportunities to find ways that work, ways to become better or stronger and opportunities to get it right.
Those that can laugh at themselves will never cease to be amused. Those that can own their mistakes and become better for them- will never cease to be respected. Stop beating yourself up when you make a mistake. Learn from it and let it go. Carry the lessons your mistakes have taught you but leave the mistake itself behind.
Live and learn then- let it go.
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