To err is human…Truer words were never spoken. As humans we make tons of mistakes–big ones, little ones, in-between ones that weâ€™re not quite sure really are mistakes and some we donâ€™t even know about until way too late. And for ever mistake we, ourselves, make, other people are making their own mistakes, and affecting us in the process.Now, the other half of that quote is also pretty true:
…to forgive, divine.
It feels good to forgive, right? Forgiveness is something we withhold, to make a point, or bestow like some benevolent goddess from on high. Forgiveness is a wonderful feeling, giving or receiving. Why, then, are we so hard on ourselves?
Think about it, we make excuses for others:
- Mike didnâ€™t really mean it, he was drunk.
- Vanessa was having a hard day, thatâ€™s all.
- Dr. Jenkins mixed up the chart, no big.
But these excuses–or, even, legitimate reasons–for ourselves are no where to be found.
See, we learn from our mistakes.
Itâ€™s like when we think having half a dozen drive-thru tacos for breakfast is a good idea, just like marrying that first guy when he asked. Eventually you end up with a serious case of heartburn.
If at first you donâ€™t succeed; try, try again.
The great thing about us human beings is that we donâ€™t give up easy. So a 6-taco breakfast was a bad idea? Weâ€™ll cut it down to 4 next time! And the first guy didnâ€™t work out? We take a little time and then try again, thinking we figured out what was wrong the first time around.
Guess what, those 4 tacos were still too much for breakfast. And the guy? Yeah, he might not have been quite right, either.
Letâ€™s throw in one more platitude for good measure:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
Some women are blessed with an indefatigable spirit that translates into never give up. Me? After those first 2 strikes (to mix metaphors all over the place) I was a little gun shy. I mean, I was the common denominator in these flops, maybe Iâ€™m the problem?
Well, itâ€™s take two and all that, but sometimes we donâ€™t learn everything on the first go-round. Sometimes we need another lesson before it finally sticks. And, sometimes, it takes a few years before we can be brave again.
As excited as I am about marrying Todd and continuing our life together, itâ€™s a little scary considering my past experiences. But this was what â€œsold meâ€ on the idea in the first place: heâ€™s different from my past husbands. Iâ€™m different from the me that married them. This time, I really think Iâ€™ve learned enough. Maybe I donâ€™t have all the answers. Wait, no, I KNOW I donâ€™t have all the answers. But I have some of them, and I have techniques that make success and lot more likely–like only taking one day at a time (not just for 12-steppers!), making no expectations of myself or other people and accepting each person and situation for what they are in the moment.
And, of course, the most important technique:
Iâ€™m going to make mistakes, and Iâ€™m going to forgive myself.
Could you use a little more self-forgiveness in your life?