Are You Defined By Your Mistakes?

We are more than our mistakes.

LakeLately I’ve been looking at my life with a little introspection of what has gone well, and what hasn’t.

What has resulted from my ruminations is the clear observation that I can’t, and shouldn’t, spend much time going over and over and over my mistakes, of which there are plenty.

After all, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, as it has for all of us.

Some of that water has been clear and clean and some has been a bit murky. But these days I don’t spend much time thinking about my mistakes, as I indicated in my article about the final stage of growth — where I find myself smack dab in the middle.

The main reason I don’t spend much time reviewing my mistakes is that I have learned to forgive myself, which I  encourage everyone to do. Also, when I look at my life objectively, I hope that the contributions I have made to life balance out my many mistakes. If they don’t, I just need to forgive myself a little more.

All of this is by way of sharing with you a piece called “I Am Not a Mistake.” It was on my old website and perhaps you’ve read it before. But I include it here because it expresses my belief that we should not let our mistakes define who we are — in case that’s what you’ve been doing lately.

I shall accept both my strengths and my weaknesses for they are me.
I shall never again believe the “lie” that if I make a mistake, I am a mistake.
My mistakes are the learning tools that I shall encounter on my life journey.
When I learn from my mistakes, I give them meaning. When I give my mistakes meaning, I can begin to forgive myself, I can begin to heal. I shall not use my mistakes as excuses to give up on me…
My mistakes are not me.
I take responsibility for creating my own life story through the choices I have made.
I shall make a small difference on this planet through the work I do.
When I leave I will have done my share.
I shall live, love, laugh, and learn on my journey.
— Author Unknown
 Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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