Chapter 5

Mistakes

One of the most painful aspects of human existence is facing our mistakes.  Yet the alternative is to persist in harming ourselves and others.  We have within us the honesty, intelligence, and courage to take responsibility for our lives and to overcome our errors.

Every mind has protective mechanisms which make it easy for us to avoid confronting ourselves and dealing with our mistakes.  Take, for example, people who constantly find fault with others.  Why do they persist in such harmful behavior?  Because they really don’t see what they are doing.  It would be too painful.  Something in them urges them to behave that way, and as long as they are blind to the harm they are causing, there is no incentive to face a painful problem.

Judgmental people are not alone.  We all have faults and make mistakes.  Yet our minds go to great lengths to protect us from the truth of our errors.  This is easy to understand if you take a minute to think of something you have done that was a mistake…   Did you think of something very minor or something that wasn’t really a mistake?  If so, you are protecting yourself by avoiding the issue.  When we think of something that was genuinely hurtful to ourselves or to others, we feel pain.  And if we do not perceive a way to resolve that issue, to repair the damage, to change ourselves, we will move away from that pain by refusing to deal with the problem.

The key to finding the courage to be honest with ourselves about our faults lies in understanding that we are fundamentally good and strong beings.  Our innermost selves are neither sullied by error nor incapable of change.  We are part of a universe that allows us to be whatever we want to be.  Any mistake can be forgiven.  Any hurt we have caused can be healed.  The path to dealing effectively and courageously with our faults begins with seeing the truth about ourselves and taking one step at a time to constructive living.

It is part of the human condition to err.  That does not separate us from the power to do the right thing and to act in ways that are in the best interest of everyone.  We can correct our mistakes, heal the hurts they have caused, and build a consciousness where good judgment grows and becomes a natural part of our existence.

MOVING MOUNTAINS

Mistakes fill mountains
around every man’s plain
higher than the sight
of stubborn-straight
level gaze

Until the eye fills
at its massive plight
all around, at every turn
what fault has built
as barrier to the world.

Then mountains can move
or seem smaller in time
as life grows within
reaching over and through
what can no longer contain
vision larger than itself.

AFFIRMATION

There is a universe in and around me that forgives my mistakes, gathers me into its life, and joins me with the right thinking that is mine.

I recognize that all my decisions will not be the best ones.  Yet mistakes do not destroy the goodness that is natural to my being.  Acknowledging my errors, I work through them and learn to see beyond what limits my thought.

Reaching for my intuitive knowledge of right action, I rise above my mistakes and allow myself to be an imperfect creature striving for union with the truth and goodness in and around me.

 

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“Mistakes”
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