This quote is one of my favorites, and it leads to what is essentially part 2 of my ‘Consistency’ post. As I noted, one of the biggest things I pride myself in is confidence, which gives me the ability to carry myself through the ups and downs of every day in a positive and radiant way. The biggest thing I’ve tried to channel is consistency in confidence, and I hope that you’ve been able to implement that recently, too. But, there are certainly times I’m sure that’s rubbed people the wrong way.
The second biggest thing I pride myself in is the ability to work through regret. Regret and mistakes are really lessons to be learned, and obviously some lessons are way more important than others. Life’s full of both triumphs and defeats, and both teach us something.
I’ve been shaped more by mistakes through my life than I have successes. I’ve learned that through sports also. Dealing with failure becomes easier. If a ground ball goes through my legs, if I make a bad throw, if I swing through a pitch for strike 3, it’s nobody’s fault but my own. “Close enough” doesn’t count.
So, it’s with these little defeats that lessons for how to be better for the next time are learned. I remember mostly every mistake I’ve made, and in some weird way, I’m thankful for it.
I vividly remember the night when I was 5 years old and my mom told my brother and I that we had to leave my cousins house. I looked up to the sky in annoyance as I went to grab my shoes and mouthed, “I hate her.” I got ratted out immediately by another young counterpart. My mom was crushed. My cousins lived right down the street, so I remember the pain of that walk home and that whole evening facing my family. The bond and love between my mother and I is one of the most powerful things in this world today. Her biggest fear was that her kids wouldn’t like her, and my mouthing off made her feel like that was reality.
There were times growing up where I was finding myself in the company of the wrong people. Their decisions weren’t my decisions, but the “guilty by association” concept was prevalent. I remember all of the silly, crazy punishments for minute things I did as a youngster. I remember every real and authentic, yet difficult conversation with my family that I’ve had. My mom and dad have done phenomenal things as parents, with their sacrifice and never ending love. But without mistakes, and them teaching me right and wrong, there are no lessons to be learned.
We all go through these moments. It’s hard not to dwell in them, but once they pass, there’s no changing what’s occurred. You can only improve for the future. That’s evolution.
I’ve butchered relationships, friendships, and opportunities, sure. We all have. And from that all, has come learning. What can look ugly and disgraceful from the outside shouldn’t matter to you. Don’t let outsiders deter your intrinsic improvement.
And there’s always more to be done. None of us are going to perfect every interaction and experience, but the sooner we embrace that, the easier it is to grow. Every night before bed I thank God for all He’s given me. That includes the struggles and the mistakes. I ask Him for forgiveness, but also thank Him for the lessons involved in shaping who I am. I appreciate both the good and the bad, because there’s more to be learned about yourself through the humbling experiences of accountability. And, it could always be worse. Never forget the people who need a lot more from the world than you do.
Being human, mistakes are inevitable. Some greater than others. Some intentional, some not. Some that affect one, and some that affect many. Whether you or I are the ones seeking forgiveness or granting forgiveness, someone is growing and evolving. The main things society lacks today are appreciation, accountability, forgiveness, kindness, and love. That’s why the world is such an ugly place. As we should make efforts to right our wrongs, mend relationships, change our views, and ask for forgiveness, we are admitting and committing to change.
So, as you or I make mistakes, we also need to evolve. I’ve let myself down as much as I’ve let other people down, and I’m sure there are times where you feel the same way. People passing judgement or holding grudges after being hurt is up to their coping methods, but no one is immune from making mistakes…. as John 8:7 reads, “So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first,'” (NKJV). Meaning, that many are quick to criticize others without realizing the mistakes they make themselves.
In the end, remember that mistakes are not the end all be all, but rather improvement opportunities… and if you’re going through life with your loved ones, I ask that you also grow with them, and that we all try to seek more forgiveness to make the world a better place.