Lately, I’ve been thinking back over my life’s hits and misses. If you are anything like me, you loathe making mistakes with a passion. I find myself reliving past mistakes, as if in the reliving, I could change the outcome. The thing is, after years of trying to fight my mistakes, I’ve come to believe that I am fighting a losing battle. Why? Because we are meant to make mistakes. The important thing to consider regarding our mistakes, is not that we make them, because it is an inevitable certainty that we will make them and others. No, as it is with most of life circumstances, the crucial factor is our reaction to the mistake. What do we take away from it? Hopefully, we learn enough through the making of the mistake, to avoid repeating it.
More importantly, we’ve heard countless times that life is not intended to be perfect, with perfect choices, answers and circumstances. It’s not like that precisely because the truth is that life is a risk. Of course, there is one sure fire way to avoid making another mistake – – inaction. Yet, what type of life would that bring? Every time that we choose, we take a risk that our choice my lead us down an unintended path. Sometimes that path can lead us astray and we realize that we’ve made the wrong decision. At other times, the path, while unintended, leads us down a road that opens us to new experiences and excitements– ones that had we chosen otherwise, we’d never encounter. The thing is not only that we live through our choices; we live because of our choices. By taking the risk, we say “yes” to life and “no” to inaction, the safe choice.
So given all the mistakes that I’ve made in my life, I cannot be accused of hewing to safe choices. No, all the cringe-worthy lapses in judgment, or some would argue, the total absence of judgment, are all mine- good and bad. When I am being rational and clear-headed, I view them as part of a life well-lived, instead of agonizing about the choices that I can’t change.