Day 325 (Three-Hundred & Twenty-Five) of 365 days
Socrates once boldly said that the unexamined life is not worth living. This is a profound notion and one that speaks many truths to us today. Living an examined life is important; it’s what spurs on growth! We should be always reflecting on our goals, our priorities, our relationships and the way that we treat others. This kind of self-awareness is what helps us reach our highest potential; it’s a wonderful thing. However, as someone who is constantly examining my own life, I have also found that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
The right way motivates and inspires us. It allows us to celebrate our successes but also shows us places for improvement. The wrong way, however, can leave us feeling full of guilt, remorse and regret at the things we have said and done in the past. It is in these moments where learning to forgive ourselves becomes vital.
Forgiveness can be difficult; I don’t know that anyone would argue with that. Learning to forgive and let go when someone has wronged you is one of the harder things we ever learn to do. But there is another kind of forgiveness that is just as difficult, if not more so. This kind of forgiveness is private and personal. This is self-forgiveness, really believing the idea that we are not defined by our failures and mistakes. Let me repeat: You are not defined by your mistakes. This is one of the most important truths to grasp in life, but understanding and applying it isn’t always easy.
Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’ll never do that again,” only to find yourself doing the same thing just a short time later? If so, you’re not alone. It’s likely all of us have repeated some of our mistakes at one time or another. But making the same mistakes over and over can be costly in more ways than one. Perhaps your team has lost faith in you because your behaviour doesn’t match your words. Or maybe your errors have cost you or someone else a lot of money.
You may have imperfections, but we all do—that’s what makes us human! You may have made mistakes, but those mistakes don’t define you—they don’t make your entire existence a mistake. When those demons scratch at your heart, gnaw at your clothes and blind your eyes, I hope you remember that there are people who love you. People who can be the angels that chase away those pesky demons. Angels who can surround you with the love and warmth you need to pick yourself up again—pick yourself up and rebuild.
Rebuild your mind—fill it with loving and gentle thoughts about yourself. Rebuild your heart—overload it with acceptance and understanding of your imperfections. You are not your mistake!