We make mistakes throughout lives.
This is part of our nature, perhaps built into our DNA.
Children grow up feeling very differently about whether they make mistakes or not.
With hypercritical parents it is not unusual for a very young child to believe that he is on the wrong track most of the time.
These children continuously feel apprehensive and guilty.
Children raised by psychologically healthy parents learn that when they make mistakes, they are patiently taught what they have done, how to repair it, and to move forward.
The definition of the word "mistake" that I use means an error or blunder that we have made.
Mistakes occur under innumerable circumstances.
Some mistakes are so tiny that they are only identifiable to a very self critical person.
At the extreme, some individuals make mistakes due to their carelessness, recklessness, or a pervasive lack of concern for others, that have devastating consequences.
Each time we get up and say we will not repeat the same mistake.
After a while we find ourselves with different actors, new locations, fresh lines but the same theme.
We have repeated a mistake.
Only the scenery and actors are different.
With each repetition of a mistake we can become more aware, more awake.
Along the way we learn with great effort how to drop our egos, that part of us that can be described as the big "I" that feels more important and entitled than anyone else.
Eventually the ego must be shedded piece by piece, until it disappears into infinitesimal fragments.
With the ego dropped, our mistakes acknowledged, and our efforts to restore any hurt we have caused, we emerge lighter and freer, with a growing capacity for insight.
Steps for developing insight from our mistakes: 1.
Admit that you are wrong or that you made a blunder.
Apologize to the injured party (and make any necessary reparations) 3.
With self compassion and introspection, analyze the cause and nature of the error.
Get up, move forward with a strengthened sense of purpose, a clearer vision of who you really are, and a gratefulness that you are starting anew.