#10 People Make Mistakes…And So Will I! (from) 49 Life Lessons it took me 50 years to learn
The facts is, people make mistakes. And another fact is, so do I (and you!).
This Life Lesson is not about the mistake itself. It’s about how we react to it and what we hold onto when someone makes a mistake and what we do next. This Life Lesson is about how you can get access to peace and calm for yourself (with practice) instantly.
So what happens when someone makes a mistake? And by the way, often, they don’t realise they have even made a mistake. Because believe it or not, most people (and by most I mean 99%) of people don’t wake up and think “what mistake can I make today?!?”. It’s (often) not until WE point it out to them that they become fully aware of the mistake. But before we point it out to them, we will go through a series of statements. Sometimes to ourselves and sometimes (for days) to others. Things like:
Why would they do that!?
How could they do that!?
I would never do that!
What were they thinking!?
And then (if) we decide to tell them about their mistake, whilst in our heads we may have every intention of pointing it out calmly the likelihood of this diminishes as soon as they stare back at you blankly having no idea what you are talking about… Arghhhhh!
But here’s the good news! This is the part of the mistake that you actually have total control over.
Your reaction to it.
You see you have no control over the mistake itself and you have no control of the person who made the mistake. Understanding this alone will bring some of us closer to peace and calm. Of course some of us will still be digging in our heels and internally screaming “but I am right!” they did make a mistake and it did upset me. Now don’t get me wrong, there sometimes are (irrevocable) consequences to mistakes. I get it. But your peace and calm around the mistake relies solely on your reaction to it and acknowledging to yourself that the mistake was not done to you, at you, to spite, to hurt you or to make your life a living Hell. That’s why it’s called a mistake.
Now just for a moment let’s turn the spotlight on ourselves. Ask yourself this question.
Have I ever made a mistake? Now before your little voice in your head jumps to your defense and screams “yes but I never did what they did!”. Maybe not in the exact same situation or circumnstance. But think back over your entire life and honestly ask yourself again. Have I ever made a mistake? And if I have did I do it deliberately to unleash Hell on someone? Of course you may have made mistakes that hurt or upset other people but did you really make the mistake with that intention in your heart? No? Of course you didn’t!
People make mistakes.
I make mistakes.
You make mistakes.
You get to decide what happens next. You get to decide if you can acknowledge to yourself that people make mistakes and so do you (and me). You can be right that you are right that someone made a mistake or you can exercise forgiveness and get on with your life with calm and peace in your heart.
And before the keyboard warriors fire up and let me know that some things are unforgivable. I ask you to consider this. Forgiveness is not for the other person, forgiveness is for you. You see not forgiving someone is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.
So here it is.
Three steps to letting go of mistakes.
- Recongnise that it may only be a mistake in your mind. The other person may not see it the way you do.
- Acknowledge that the mistake is not about you (even if it ‘feels’ like it is).
- Forgiveness is the answer. Always.