Lately I’ve been working on accepting my faults and mistakes of the past for what they were. Lessons from life. I have made both little and big mistakes. I have made bad choices at times that have hurt both me and others.
I made mistakes and messed up no doubt about it. In fact, I think the worst mess-ups came from those times I allowed myself to be led from my path by others ideas of what was good for me. I stopped listening to my own counsel.
I think we all do that sometimes. When we forget the power of our own wisdom we really get off track.
So what I’d do is kick myself when I was down. I beat myself up at a time when what I really needed was tender loving care. I needed to be kind to myself and let the lesson come and learn it so I could move on.
The lesson I really needed to learn was that I am not my mistakes, my falling down or my screwups. In fact, what makes me who I am is that I continue to get back up and try again. I am created by my choice to learn from the past and let go of regret and guilt.
It’s a tough road though I won’t lie to you my friends. I slip a lot. Especially when I make another mistake. However, I came across something Maya Angelou said that brought tears to my eyes. Exactly the part of the lesson I was still missing. It was so simple but so exactly what I needed to hear. “When you know better, then you do better.”
I mean think about how powerful that is when it comes to life. We expect perfection from ourselves so often but what we should expect is when we have experiences we understand that this helps us know better. Then, we can be better than we were before. Not perfect…just better.
Life is for learning, experiencing and discovering what we can be. Every layer we build or peel back means we can start to know better and do better than we did yesterday.
So when that nasty voice in the back of my head starts yammering about how I screwed up; or that guilty feeling starts rising I fight back. I tell that voice that at one time I didn’t really understand and didn’t know better. I do now. Now – I do better than I did back then.
I am not the same person I was last week, last month or last year. Neither are you. I am a better than I was. Tomorrow, when it comes, will also find me better than today.
That is all we can ask of ourselves. Regret, guilt and anger towards ourselves for not knowing better, not being our best self in the past is just wasted energy.
The only thing you need concern yourself with is knowing better so you can do better – even if it’s just a little better – every single day.