We have all made mistakes at some point in life. No human being is exempt of making mistakes. But it is part of the journey of living and growing. Without falling, you won’t learn how to get up. Without getting back up you won’t learn how to manage certain difficulties or obstacles. Therefore, making mistakes is important and necessary, otherwise, how will we learn anything?
The fact that you have made a mistake does not mean you need to carry it for the rest of your life. You shouldn’t be pointed out or pay for your mistakes as a death sentence, unless (of course) you have killed someone or have done something that the law requires you to be sentenced for those mistakes. But in here I’m taking about regular mistakes such as to choose the wrong career, making poor decisions in your teen years, hurting someone you love with your words or actions, even cheating, or dating the wrong person. Every experience that we face in life is there to teach us a lesson and the purpose is to grow and learn. From every mistake we make there is always a lesson behind it, and that will give us the experience required for our souls to grow; it is up to us to actually look for the lesson and to actually learn from the experiences.
Don’t be so hard on yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. If you are truly regretful of the consequences of your mistakes, then make the necessary amendments in order to fix things as much as you can. There are certain situations in which mistakes are too big that you can’t fix things, but at least you can express that you are regretful of the bad decisions that you made. Talk and be clear with the people you care for; let them know that you now understand their hurt, their pain, and that you are truly sorry. Know that compassion will always win any battle.
The fact that I say that we shouldn’t carry ourselves dragging a load of regrets around doesn’t mean that we can go around hurting people and then act like nothing happened… “Oh! Because everyone makes mistakes!” NO! That’s not learning! That is minimizing the hurt you caused due to the mistakes you made and move on without remorse. Mistakes should be addressed! If you genuinely care and if you truly learned the lessons behind your mistakes, the right thing to do is to address it with the people that matters the most to you. What is there to lose? Asking for forgiveness and assuming responsibility can only make you a person with strong morality and character. It will be a way to close the cycle of the mistake and turn the experience into a step of growth and development; not only for you but also for the people involved or affected by your actions.
One of my favorite book authors is John Maxwell and, in his book, Failing Forward he Quotes Dr. William Mayo: “Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice”. We all need to make mistakes in order to learn, grow, and develop ourselves, but we need to be careful not to continuously repeat the same mistakes over and over. That is something I have been a victim of, making the same mistake multiple times, but I guess, in my case, I get to learn after multiple tries; but later, rather than sooner, I finally get to learn and grow…and that is also OK! The idea is that mistakes are necessary for us to grow and learn, but learning is not a competition, it is a personal thing and a process. Accept your process, acknowledge your growth, and most importantly forgive yourself for the mistakes that you’ve made that are causing a burden in your heart. The most difficult thing to do is to forgive ourselves…but that's a whole new subject.