With Mistakes, the Important Part is to Move Quickly

It never stops, does it?   

As soon as we get that comfortable groove of “I-got-this,” something comes our way and we make the wrong choice and suddenly it’s that plunge of “where-did-it-go?”  

If we’re living, we’re going to make mistakes.  We can remember all the well-meant guidance about how we learn from our mistakes, nobody’s perfect, we’re only human and all that…but it still feels lousy. 

It especially hurts when we forget an event of importance in someone’s life, or through a poor choice of words we wound a friend’s feelings, or we are somehow dismissive of something valuable to another.  It hurts them and it hurts us.  We carry guilt, shame, embarrassment, regret.  Lousy is definitely the word. 

In the short term, nothing seems to work to diminish that lousiness.   We’re feeling it, owning it, getting slapped around by it – it was of our own doing, after all.  We can start to manage it, though, if we apologize and admit our carelessness quickly.   Then we can begin the work of fixing, making amends – allowing the healing, salving the wound we inflicted on another.    

Moving quickly shows humility; delay diminishes the importance of the act.  Mistakes are part of the human experience; getting comfortable with mistakes makes us careless and self-centered, insensitive to our effect on those around us.   

If we want to get our groove back, attending to mistakes in ourselves and forgiving them in others is a good first step.  In either case, moving quickly minimizes damage.

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“Forgiveness has deeper rewards than excusing someone for how they have hurt us. The deeper healing comes in the exchange of our resentments for inner freedom. At last, the wound, even if never acknowledged by the other person can heal, and our life can continue.” – Mark Nepo