The most recent one read: “You are not your mistakes. Let it go.”
My initial reaction to this was nodding my head in agreement as I drove past. However, that agreeing head nod was quickly followed up by the little voice inside of my head saying; “You don’t really buy that now, do you?” I had to pause and ask myself pointedly; “Am I my mistakes?” The ego part of my mind was quick to shout out no, but my heart whispered to slow down and really think it through.
Are we our mistakes?
So, the question is: If we make peace with our mistakes; own up to them and make them right, then, let them go – do we become the culmination of our mistakes or are we in the clear?
Upon reflection, it occurred to me that I am just as much my mistakes as I am my successes.
I needed to make mistakes to find out something didn’t work. I needed to date the wrong people, to find the one who fit. I had to walk away from certain people to figure out how much I needed them. I needed to let people in who didn’t have my best interests at heart so that I could see them for who they really were and to learn to trust my gut more. I had to do a lot of wrong things in order to find the right ones for me. Some of my mistakes hurt my heart, and unfortunately sometimes my mistakes hurt others. If I didn’t become the culmination of my mistakes, if I didn’t embrace them and learn from them and absorb those lessons into my soul – I would make them again and again and not be any further ahead.
So, yes; after some serious thought I do believe I am the culmination of my mistakes.
Afterwards, I spent some time finding the lessons in my mistake. Aside from a clear indication of the type of friend I had with the one who gave me the false information, making this mistake taught me the importance of not allowing my emotions to overpower my intelligence and my heart. It also taught me that people we love and respect deserve the benefit of the doubt before we leap to any conclusions.
Once I had wrung all the lessons I could out of this particular mistake, and made amends with my friend – I let it go. I didn’t obsess over it. I didn't beat myself up over it. Yet, at the same time, my mistake became a part of me. It didn’t go away just because it was over – it happened and therefor became part of my story. I chose to embrace my mistake because it taught me. It gave me lessons I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Lessons I filed in the; “things-to-never-do-again” portion of my soul. For the record – it’s a pretty big file.
I want to be the culmination of my mistakes, for that is where the wisdom lies.
Making mistakes in life is nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, you should be proud of them because it means you are trying, reaching and growing. Wisdom and knowledge are not found in our successes. Wisdom and knowledge are found in the mistakes we make along the way. Mistakes are just as much a part of us as our triumphs are. We need both in life to learn and become more than we were yesterday.
Embrace your mistakes. Learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up or obsess over them. Make them right, make amends and above all if you hurt someone do everything in your power to make it better; then take what you learned and be better for it.
We are the culmination of our mistakes when we become a better person for them.