Mistakes come in two categories. Those we do not realize we are making and those we choose to make. Both can be life changing and education, if we let them.

The mistakes we do not realize we are making can be the hardest to manage. They sneak up on us when we think we are doing the right thing or making the right decisions. It can take time for it to play out and for us to see that maybe it wasn’t a good idea in the first place.

These mistakes can be sometimes hard to accept. The ones where we think we are being smart but it ends up that we might not be as bright as we thought we were or that we didn’t do enough research or moved too hastily.

These mistakes can also be the ones where we are unaware of the issues driving us to make them or that we have not acknowledged those issues. Getting into bad relationship after bad relationship out of a fear of being alone but wondering why we keep doing it.

These mistakes can teach us lessons and can provide us with the knowledge of what not to do again – IF we let them. Recognizing the mistake and why it was made and working towards not repeating it can be life changing especially if it’s one that we have made multiple times.

The other kind of mistake, one we knowingly choose, is much harder to manage. The one where we know it’s wrong, or we know why we are doing it and do it anyway, or the ones we make out of anger or sadness but we know we are doing it. These can make us feel worse about ourselves after. These can cause us to seek out self-medication for the guilt. These can hurt others as well as hurting ourselves.

Acknowledging our responsibility in chosen mistakes can be very painful and something we try to avoid. We can try to tell ourselves that it was not our fault and blame others. But the truth is in us and it can make us feel like crap about ourselves but we may not know how to stop repeating them.

Both types of mistakes require self examination. Really looking to see how these mistakes happened. Were they the first kind or the second? Why were they made? What is our responsibility in them? And how can we learn from them, not repeat them, and grow? If the mistakes are choices, how can we work through the things that are causing us to continue to make that choice?

Mistakes are not the end, but only the beginning of learning, growing, acceptance, and healing. IF we allow them to be those things. The next mistake you make, stop, examine, don’t blame yourself or others, learn, grow, heal and keep walking.

Until next time,