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You’re human. We, humans, are making mistakes. Accept what you did wrong and try to do better next time. No need to punish yourself forever. In fact, accepting your mistakes is the only way to make them disappear.
If you don’t accept your mistakes, the only thing you’ll create will be just continuous guilt. Yes, you did wrong. But you’re not the only one. And you’re not powerless: now that you know you did wrong, you can make things for better.
They say “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” And they say that for a reason. Mistakes are playing a very important role in our lives: they prove our drive to manifest our intentions.
You can’t really do something wrong if you don’t try to do something in the first place.
What Happens When You Accept Your Mistakes
First of all, you acknowledge the fact that you did something wrong. And, believe it or not, this is a good thing. The ability to prove yourself wrong is a very precious one. Too many times, out of pride, we tend to attach to what we did, being it good or bad. We identify so much with the results of our own actions that we find it very difficult to take some distance and throw a decent and honest judgement at them. We cling to our past images of “self”.
Well, is this clinginess that makes us unhappy, not the action itself. If you really look at it, the action (and, most of the times, the result of that action) is in the past. It’s not here anymore. But our attachment to that action is still here. It’s like we’re hanging on to a ghost. It’s like we’re holding on to a mirage. Because we’re afraid to take responsibility, we ignore reality altogether. And we’d rather be “right” than happy.
Something very interesting happens when we’re accepting the fact that we really screw things up.
First of all, we give up clinging. We’re no longer living in this fake reality made by the ghosts of the past. Yes, we screw things up. Yes, the result of that screwing up was painful. Yes, it was a mistake. But it’s in the past. We’re no longer attached to our own image. We’re here and now and whatever stupid things we did is over. Its consequences, or ripples may still haunt us, that’s true, but the cause is already consumed.
Second, we can get some perspective. How was that wrong? What actually went wrong? And how could we start to make things up? Acceptance is like a handle to the reality. Using this handle, you can start moving reality around, you can push it, bend it, twist it so you can finally get the results you really want. But until you accept it, you have no handle.
And third, we get rid of guilt. I have to confess that I hate guilt. I find it extremely time consuming. In the sense that it consumes time that we should use in a more intelligent way. I’m not saying you should be irresponsible. There is a very obvious line between guilt and responsibility. Feeling guilty is bad and ugly. On the other hand, feeling responsible and aware, is, though, empowering and evolving.