I’m writing as I ride the ferry from Nanaimo (on Vancouver Island, BC) back to Vancouver. I had to bring Ruby “home” to the RV dealership from whence she came. We needed a couple of repairs before hitting the road for our cross-Canada trip.
Looking out the window I see ocean liners, seagulls, islands covered by evergreens, and a float plane taking off. I also hear a duck quacking even though we were miles from shore! At first I thought he was hitching a ride on the ferry—sometimes cougars or bears jump onto log barges to visit new island—but then someone says “Hello?” and poof! The quacking stops.
Wouldn’t it be great if our regrets and mistakes disappeared that quickly?
Imagine that. Someone says one word and that thing you regret—the poor choice, the wrong decision, the thoughtless statement, the selfish action—disappears. So does your ruminating about the past and inability to forgive yourself. Poof! Gone with the wind.
A few days ago I made a video called Tired of Making the Same Mistakes? How to Stop Repeating Destructive Patterns. I share three easy ways to stop making the same mistakes over and over. I was inspired by a reader’s response to last week’s email (which was called Who Would You Be?)
What I wish I would’ve said in the video…
While it’s important to recognize how and why many of us fall into the same destructive relationships and make the same poor choices, over and over. Self-awareness helps us grow healthier, stronger, and more grounded.
But it’s just as important to be open and willing to make mistakes.
The mistake isn’t the problem. Mistakes are inevitable, normal, and even healthy. Mistakes help us learn and grow. They keep us humble and compassionate, lovable and kind. For example, if I didn’t make mistakes giving myself a “pixie cut”, I wouldn’t have a whole new level of respect for hairstylists.
In my video, I wish I would’ve said that we don’t have to put ourselves under the microscope and pick ourselves apart. Sometimes we don’t need to know how, what, when, why and where we went wrong. Sometimes our motivation doesn’t matter.
What matters is that we forgive ourselves. Because if we can’t accept and love ourselves—flaws, failures and all—then we’ll struggle to accept and love others.
Take yourself off the hook
You’ll always make mistakes. You’ll never say or do it exactly right, and you’ll always wonder what would’ve happened if you chose a different path.
But if you can—uh oh—the captain is announcing our arrival at Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal!I have to go. I wish I had a clever way to circle back to the duck quacking analogy but the ferry is docking in five minutes and it’d definitely be a mistake for me to be upstairs on the passenger deck while my camper van is downstairs blocking cars waiting to offload.
Take yourself off the hook for your past mistakes, okay? 🙂
Bidding you a hasty adieu,