Is it Really Making a Mistake??

Sometimes life brings us to pivotal points in our lives by pulling our lives down around our ankles; leaving us exposed, vulnerable, and very, very unprepared for the changes it demands/requires/expects. We’re all pretty familiar with what I mean; the late night phone call, the letter left on the kitchen table, the empty bed at the hospital, that discovery, that decision that plunges us headlong into traumatic turmoil. That is a post for another day…

Other times, life offers us quieter, subtler, and much more easily ignored moments at the crossroads. Those moments when we can choose to re-evaluate, re-vamp, and select our path with more clarity, more wisdom, and make the so-called ‘right’ choices, or not. So, how is that we seem to miss these ‘opportunities’, and why?

Too subtle? Perhaps. Too gradual? Maybe. Too close to home? Denial? Laziness? Fear? Rebellion? Naivety? How about we just chalk it up to a bit of all of those things and a host of others as well, shall we?? That’s been my experience, at least…

Beyond that though, is my own personal truth about these moments… Regardless of all other factors involved; I can (and have) quite easily look a warning sign square in the face, nod in recognition and respect, and then simply refuse to actually see it…

I have managed an uncanny knack for reading a situation quite accurately, often even putting it down in pen and ink and then still selecting to jump in, only to wake up at some point down the road with the audacity to ask; “Why wasn’t I warned?” or “Why didn’t I know?”

Oh, no; I’m not joking, or bragging either… As a pretty regular journal keeper of many a year; it has amused, amazed, confused, and irritated me just how well I have done this from time to time…

I used to take quite the offense to this. Full of self regret and loathing for another wrong move, I’d berate myself with vigor. True to form, I’d eventually get around to asking; “Am I just stupid or crazy, or both??” (Okay, you– don’t answer that!!) ;)

Seriously though, I tended to be very hard on myself. How could I make that mistake? Why did I make that decision? How did I get myself into this situation? How do I get out of it? Why didn’t I heed that very big Red Flag as it waved high and loud above my head?? Hell, it wasn’t even one Red Flag; it was an entire ocean of them and I jumped straight into the deep-throwing every single precaution to the wind as I did so!!!

Sigh… Ever been there?

Now, I’ve come to realize that when I see the signs, recognize the warnings, sense the danger, and jump in headlong anyway; it’s not so much that I’m hellbent on disaster or being truly foolhardy (although I’m sure there are those who’d beg to differ-and that’s okay too)… Instead, I do it because my heart and/or my soul, sense a lesson I need to learn or an experience I need to grow from or in- a moment I need to be a part of and really feel so that it can bring more clarity, more wisdom, more understanding somehow. Someday.

I’ve found that the discovery of various patterns of behavior can offer some tremendously revealing insight…

I am apparently a hands-on learner…and a slow one at that, sometimes… ;) Sometimes, I just learn best by doing…

The awareness that I make or have made ‘bad’ choices or decisions has begun to upset me less and less. It seldom sends me into the crucify/defend modes of old. Good thing too; because I am still finding behaviors and actions, decisions and thought patterns that are not for my highest good. In fact, I’m much more likely to muck around in the deep now looking for them, seeking them out so that I can work on them, through them and finally, release them.

Are they mistakes? Depends on who you ask. I’m not here to sugar coat it and BS is not my style. I have made and do sometimes continue to make less than stellar decisions, let’s be clear about that. Sometimes, it’s still in grand style too… But, I’m so very tired of beating myself up over them. They may not make much sense to you, or to me either for that matter; but I assure you there is a reason for them- even if it’s simply because I need/ed the growth experience provided.

A Colourful Mistake…

I must say, it’s rather amazing what happens when I take full responsibility for making a decision and refuse to throw myself under the mistake ‘bus’ when it doesn’t turn out. When I can calmly say; “Yes. Yes, I chose that. I’ve learned a lot from the experience.” -suddenly, the guilt falls away! The inner criticism recedes, the judgement slides right on past, and I’m left feeling pretty damn good! Not because I’m happy with the choice, or situation, but because I’ve gotten something from it and didn’t beat myself up over it.

When I give myself the freedom to LIVE and to grow, it’s positively exhilarating! Especially when I truly realize that it’s my choice to make the decision and to learn from it. ;)

Way back when, before I got so good at making ‘mistakes’; I didn’t understand others who made choices it seemed they really should know better about making. It was much harder for me to empathize or relate. I had trouble connecting to their plight, grasping the truth of their heart in peril. I sure do get it now… ;)

Perhaps that was precisely the point all along. To open not only my mind to the realization that mistakes are only truly mistakes if you believe that they are and you don’t allow yourself to learn from them; but also to open my heart more readily to the situations of others and get a glimpse of what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Releasing myself from the concept of making ‘mistakes’ and turning more towards the idea of ‘selecting my learning experiences’ has allowed me to open up and ask myself these questions;

Did I learn from this?”

What did I learn here?”

“What did I gain in/from this?”

“What am I grateful for in this?”

As I do this, life becomes increasingly softer and sweeter; one moment, one experience, one piece at a time. So much so, that even when I’m in the midst of a trying/stressful situation I am acutely aware I helped author; I know that I’m learning and I’m growing. Refusing to categorize it as a mistake keeps me present in the moment, keeps me active with it, and keeps me searching for the highest good. When I do that, I know I’m holding myself with loving kindness and I can in turn do that with the situation and others involved with it.

It’s not foolproof or an exact science. I don’t have it ‘down’. That’s okay though. My heart is willing and it stretches to greet the day with openness and possibility…

How can any of that truly be a mistake? ;)


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