Yes, I Made a Mistake

Why is that so hard for us to say?

We all make them. We make little ones every day. Fortunately for most of us, most of those mistakes are minor.

We make decisions every day, and some of them were wrong, and didn’t turn out the way we’d planned. Sometimes they only affect us, and sometimes they affect others as well.

We feel bad, we beat ourselves up. Sometimes we tell ourselves how stupid we are, how incompetent. Sometimes we go so far as to fall into depression, our self-confidence ruined, convinced that no one will ever trust us, like us, or want to be around us again.

That’s a bit extreme, but it happens.

And it shouldn’t.

We all make mistakes. We’re human. We weren’t made to be perfect. And we never will be.

While most of those mistakes are small, and more of an “oops!” than an “oh no!”, there are those big ones that all of us have made as well. The ones we don’t like to remember or think about; the ones we push to the very back of our minds and hope they’ll never resurface again.

The marriage we should never have entered into which ended in unbelievable heartache, and sometimes financial devastation.

Or the person who swore they’d always love us, that there was a future together, and then suddenly, without a hint of warning, left for no reason at all, making us wonder what we did wrong.

The job we quit because we thought we’d found one so much better which didn’t work out almost as soon as it started. And we couldn’t get the other one back.

The job we lost because we made really bad decisions or trusted the wrong people.

The people we trusted who lied to us and eventually betrayed us.

The friends who said they’d be there no matter what, and then turned away from us when we needed them because they didn’t have time for us any more.

The ones who stole from us because we were too trusting.

The time we lied about doing something to avoid getting in trouble, but when the lie was discovered, we were in more trouble!

The time we blasted someone on social media because we thought it was aimed at us, only to find out it wasn’t about us at all, and lost a friend in return.

The people we trusted with our deepest secrets who then told those secrets to other people in order to make themselves look good.

The times we asked trusted friends or family for advice on a serious matter and didn’t listen because we didn’t like what we heard. And later found out we should have done what they suggested.

Those mistakes are hard to recover from. It might take years before we let ourselves trust or love again.

Making mistakes is part of being human. Our very nature causes us to trust others because we want to be loved, to be cared for. We love and care for those people until they hurt us. And then wonder what we did wrong.

Most of the time it wasn’t our fault. And sometimes it was. It doesn’t make any of us a bad person. It means we learn from our mistakes and don’t make them again.

None of us are perfect. We each make mistakes of some sort every day. It’s part of being human, of being who we are. We learn from our mistakes and we grow from them.

But we have to admit to making them when we’re wrong. We have to understand them and not make them again.

We have to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes, because if we don’t, how can we expect anyone else to forgive us? And if we don’t forgive others who make mistakes, why should they forgive us?

What mistakes have you made? Have you learned from them? How are you going to make things right again?

“I’m sorry” goes a long way, but it only goes so far unless you follow up on it to make things right again. Don’t wait for the other person to make things right. Take the first step yourself. You may be surprised to see where that step leads.

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