mistakes

I want to continue the discussion on faith from last month, since it seems to still be gripping me in some way. Faith is about knowing you’re not doomed by your past mistakes. I’d like to share a quote with you, “You are not punished FOR your mistakes, but BY your mistakes.”

The punishment is built into the mistake. Think about it for a minute – if you throw your stereo out of the window in a fit of rage, the consequence is a broken stereo. If you hurt someone you love, the consequence is a hurt loved one. If you’ve stolen from someone, the consequence is having to hide to maintain it. If you let people treat you badly, the consequence is being treated badly. You’ve already endured the consequence at least one time. At what point then can you let yourself off the hook?

How many times do we make mistakes only to hold them over our heads over and over and over again? At what point can we let it go and say, “Yes, I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I am moving on.” Being human IS making mistakes, although I know some of my clients feel that they should be past making errors, “Mistakes are for others – I should hold myself to a perfect standard,” they say. You see, the logic goes like this – the more perfect I am, the more lovable and acceptable I am.

However, the more “perfect” you are, the more isolation you endure. The more “perfect” you are, the more stress you reap to maintain perfection. The more “perfect” you are, the harder you are on others. The more “perfect” you are, the fewer risks you take. The more “perfect” you are, the darker the shadow side. And so on and so forth.

I am not advocating for mediocrity, mind you, but I am advocating for self-forgiveness. Have faith that you’re not doomed by your past mistakes, and no matter what you have done or not done in the past, you wholeheartedly deserve happiness and peace of mind.

It being April and all, resurrection and liberation are common themes this month no matter what your religious affiliations. So I urge you to explore which mistakes you’ve been holding onto, and what it would entail to let them go.