Our Greatest Gifts
Been thinking a lot about mistakes and how often I make them. I'm constantly saying the wrong things and hurting someone's feelings. I lose my patience with my kids and raise my voice more often than I'd like. I've done some horrible things to Jenny in the past (long, long ago). I'll sometimes say no to opportunities to help others when I should say yes. Jenny + I might be in a disagreement and I'll say hurtful things just to keep her angry even though I don't mean them (hopefully I'm not the only one that does this). I often put my own agenda in front of what others might want/need and fight for my stuff in times when it would benefit everyone to just let it go.
Long story short, I'm human. I make mistakes. But to get stuck on those mistakes and let them define who I am? I'm not about to do that. I want to take my mistakes and turn them into my greatest gifts. I want to learn from my mistakes and say yes in the future when in the past I would've said no. I want to keep my dang trap shut in times when I'd try and fix things that didn't need to be fixed. I'll use my mistakes to teach me about humility, empathy, compassion and how to love others better. I want my mistakes to teach me all about patience and living in the moment.
It's when we step out of the moment and get caught up in our expectations that we start to make mistakes. Here's how it goes for me. I'll enter a situation with a certain expectation of how I want it to go, or I'll hold tight to an outcome I desire. So I'll say things and do things to steer to that particular outcome. It always happens for me this way, and when things don't go toward my desired outcome, that's when my patience wanes, I breathe shallower breaths and force things when they shouldn't be forced. And then I lose my temper or I shut down completely and focus on all the things that might be wrong in my life in that particular moment.
Knowing all these things, I vow to stay more present. I vow to practice long, deep breaths. I can move slower and speak in a calmer tones. When I notice situations not playing out how I want them, I can pause, take deep breaths and then engage in a more peaceful manner. Learning from my mistakes, I can live with a certain amount of grace for myself. I can forgive myself and know that I'll do my very best to be better in the future.
And that's the beauty of this life. We're all doing the best we can. At least I believe that deep in my bones. Each and every one of us is doing the very best we can at this wild and crazy life. Even though my best might look different than your best, that doesn't mean one way of 'best' is better than another's. We're all at different stages of life. We're all going through our own pile of poo at times...and despite that, we're all doing the very best we can. And when we slip up, instead of getting stuck in a shame hole, apologize for your mistakes (internally and externally) and move on.
In thinking of all this, I come back to my purpose in this life. Ultimately, it's to give love. To love deeply and fiercely. That is my mission in life. And I want to love as deeply as I can for as long as I can. It's that simple. Learning from my mistakes helps me live a more love filled life of meaning. Forgiving myself and learning and growing and knowing I'm doing my best all help me give and receive more love in my life....although it's a never ending process.
My wish for you this week is that you won't get hung up on your past mistakes.
That you know you're doing your very best.
That you know you're loved and you possess some unique capabilities that no one else has...because no one else's love looks like your deep love.
I hope you're feeling loved and that you know someone out there has your back.