Archive for July, 2014

Mistakes are a part of life, yet we can be really hard on ourselves when we make them. This subject has been on my mind a lot lately, and I know a lot of folks who berate themselves for past missteps. Many of these are people I care for quite a lot, and seeing them tear themselves apart over water that’s under the bridge is rather heartbreaking.

And let’s be clear – I’ve made plenty of my own missteps. With family, friends, significant others, job choices, and so on. But with a couple exceptions, I prefer not to look at my mistakes as setbacks. I view them a little differently. Below are five reasons why.

plot twist


5. Yes, you are spirit, but you are also human.

There’s a quote from Pierre Teilbard de Chardin that makes the rounds quite a bit: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” If you believe this line of thought, you should definitely cut yourself a break because, quite frankly, the human experience is messy.

The constant struggle balancing our physical needs and desires, our logical thinking and ego, and our spiritual center can be difficult. Most of us go through periods in our life when we are either angry, sad, confused, or one of the many other feelings that can cause us to less than ideal action or to just plain feel bad.

But whatever happens in our lives, we are just humans. Yes, we have amazing abilities, but we also have stunning flaws and desires. Not all of this is bad – it’s just part of the human experience. Sometimes physical or emotional pain is part of the human experience, especially if you subscribe to the idea of soul agreements. That leads us to No. 4:


4. It could be part of the plan. Yes, your plan.

“I planned to make mistakes and for crap to happen to me?” you ask dubiously.

Well, maybe. Some folks subscribe to the concept of soul agreements, or relationships and challenges that could be part of your spirit’s plan for this lifetime. Most agree that soul agreements are made between you and other spirits – prior to this human incarnation – to be part of the same family or to have some other relationship. Sometimes these agreements have a very positive spin (for example, soul mates or soul friends), but other times they are intended to give the soul something difficult to experience and overcome.

Honestly, I once had a huge problem with this concept. Who would choose a debilitating disease? Who would want a life of poverty? Who would opt for an abusive parent or spouse? The idea that I would choose a miserable father, a miscarriage, and a failed marriage as things to deal with in life infuriated me. As time passed, however, I began to see how these different people and events lead me to other things that I needed to learn or just needed in my life.

How we deal with challenges – whether we continue to respond like impudent children and with anger instead of with understanding and compassion (yes, compassion for ourselves) – may be part of the bigger picture for your soul. Life lessons aren’t always obvious when they are happening. So if you screw up and have to deal with the fallout, deal with it and move on – your ability to do so may well be the goal of the lesson plan that you yourself wrote.

worst pasts


3. Every mistake can be a learning experience – if you let it.

Who learns anything by always being perfect? If we never fail, we don’t learn perseverance. If we never tempt an exploration, it’s difficult to make a discovery.

Sometimes, all we really need to learn is to relax and see our mistake from a different perspective. Richard James, the developer of the Slinky toy, was a mechanical engineering trying to develop a specialized spring for ships. His mistake for ships turned out to be a huge success in the toy market – but only because he could see the potential in his booboo.

In other cases, our mistakes and the resulting pain is a cue to slow down and look at what we’re doing and adjust our path. If you keep falling for the wrong kind of person in relationships, maybe you need to examine what it is about that type of person that draws you even though you should know it won’t work. If people take advantage of you, perhaps it’s time to balance your kindness and generosity with the strength to stand up for yourself when needed.

No mistake need be a waste of time – there is something to learn from them all if we look close enough.


2. It develops character.

No, seriously! Anyone who’s delved into creative writing can tell you that if nothing bad ever happens to a main character, there’s no story. Well, the same is pretty much true of real people. Those who come through many mistakes and struggles are often those with great insights and the ability to help others see that they can overcome their own mistakes.

Besides, when all is said and done and folks are gathered at our funerals, do we want them to just say, “Oh, she was so nice”? Or do we want there to be some stories they can share and laugh and commiserate over? A life of good stories is not a wasted life.

fit in meme


And because I’m an eternal smarty pants, the number one reason NOT to beat yourself up over mistakes is:


1. Mistakes in your past give you double the memes to share on Facebook!

This one should be self-explanatory to anyone with a Facebook account!

Until next time, bright blessings.



Note: To the best of my knowledge, the memes in this post are free to use.

© 2014 PJ Graham

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