making mistakes

We all make mistakes. What I believe is important is to have the humility and honesty to learn from them. Alexander Pope said it even more profoundly; “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” This is the most powerful stimulant, because the simple determination to learn from our mistakes is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves, let alone those we have wronged. To acknowledge both who we are and why we are as we are is an act of kindness which we may not have yet in our lives granted ourselves. It requires an unforgiving and fearless gaze. The ability to do so, to carry it through to the end despite the pain and guilt of looking at the worst in ourselves, is an act of generosity and humility of spirit.

It is also one of forgiveness. Though we have been guilty of many wanton and deliberate acts of insensitivity, caprice, selfishness, and cruelty, we are all guilty most of all of being ignorant. Few of us realise the full extent of our injurious effect on others, and on ourselves. If we can do so now, with complete honesty, then maybe we are able to forgive ourselves our indiscretions. We have done many things under false pretences, convenient reasoning, and misguided impulses. If we are willing to accept and acknowledge our mistakes, then we can learn from them. It is the inability to do, and the discordant sense of irresolution that it creates which is, I believe, the source of much of our pain.

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