A woman I went to yoga teacher training with posted a happy birthday shout-out to her twin girls on Facebook this morning. She wrote how she had gotten pregnant when she was too young and that her pregnancy was touted as a mistake. And then came the sentence I fell in love with..." It's no wonder that I hold mistakes in such high regard, our most effective tool towards growth."
It made me wonder why the word mistake conjures up bad connotations. The dictionary defines mistake as " an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment". I may have incorrectly used a word, wrote down the wrong date or failed in a calculation none of which are bad (or good, for that matter) ...they just are. As such, mistakes have consequences we did not purposely acquire. If there is purpose, it is not a mistake, is it? So, if it is not on purpose, how are we or our "mistakes" deemed anything but lessons of life?
There is so much judgment out there.
I recently read a news story about a little boy who saw his father's gun sitting on the table and as he picked it up the gun went off shooting his dad in the back. His dad died. Do you judge the boy for a death? The boy was neither good nor bad in this situation; he had no ill intent. It was a mistake. A sad horrible one, but a mistake. Do you judge the father for putting the boy in this situation by leaving his gun out? Does that even matter now? The man is dead and the boy will suffer this incident in his head and heart for the rest of his life. Maybe what mistakes are here to teach us is compassion. I hope as that boy grows up someone teaches him to embrace his own self with compassion.
What if we all decided today to hold our mistakes in high regard? Note it is not the outcome we hold in high regard; it is the lesson. In that previous story, what we should hold in high regard with awe is the delicacy of life. What if we understood other people's mistakes to be similarly constructed to our own? Would we judge so harshly?
I am just not certain of the word "mistake". When Andrea wrote, "It's no wonder that I hold mistakes in such high regard", she was referring to two beautiful human beings that she created and is madly in love with. She was offering her readers, whether consciously or not, a lesson in judgment, a lesson in love and a lesson in life.
Perhaps Luis Miguel sums up the word as accurately as anyone else...“I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life's experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life's experiences would be a great mistake.”