I’ve made some mistakes in my life. Actually, I’m going to rephrase that. I’ve handled some situations in ways that I would now choose to do differently. Let me tell you why I choose to rephrase the word “mistakes”.
The word “mistake” implies right and wrong. Right and wrong is judgement. As soon as we are throwing in judgement, we are going to become bombarded with guilt, shame, self-loathing, etc…
So let’s skip all that BS and toss out the word “mistake”.
If I dwell too long on how I would have liked to handle those situations differently, I might get caught up in things like regret and sadness. There is nothing wrong with feeling those feelings, of course. Feelings arise for a reason.
However, we don’t have to go looking for them. We don’t have to re-live a moment in time over and over. We are basically holding ourselves in an experience that in reality is long gone.
Sometimes we do that though. We find ourselves trapped there. This can especially happen when we are still feeling the effects of that moment in our lives today.
So how do we ease that pain? How can we take the sting out of what we’ve done?
Here is a simple practice for doing just that. Ask yourself these two questions in this order.
QUESTION #1: “Is there anything I can do about this in the present moment?”
If the answer is yes, then follow-up with the following two questions…
- What can I do?
- Am I willing to do that?
If you are willing to do it, make a commitment to yourself and DO IT. Release yourself from this burden once and for all so that you can move on. Then, answer question #2.
If you are not willing to do it or the answer to question #1 was “no”, then ask yourself this…
QUESTION #2: “What can I learn from that experience that I can take forward into the present moment?”
Even the worst “mistake” becomes valuable when we are able to grow from it. You may never be able to repair that relationship or change the circumstances of that situation, but you can become a better YOU because of the experience.
So when you get stuck to a moment that is long gone, ask yourself these questions so that you can move on without judgement and step into the YOU you were meant to be.