But Did You Learn Anything?

Everybody makes mistakes but if lessons were not learned, was it a mistake or a poor choice on our part?

I’m no stranger to mistakes. Past mostly and I kind of hope that there’d be less of those in the future. But then again, I’ve come to realise that making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. To improve, be better.

Some people confuse mistakes for regrets. I have no regrets even if some of those mistakes I’ve made were rather unsavory and harmful to self — emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. But see, that’s where mistakes is different because you can always rectify it — make amends.

I’m an advocate of forgiveness, particularly to others and not myself. For many years (I’m 29 this September), I’ve been rather generous when it comes to forgive others who have wronged me but I forget that I have wronged myself the most and have not once forgive myself nor did I “ask” myself to be forgiven.

Late last year, I got to know this guy, let’s call him Gift, and well at the risk of exaggerating, he’s to me Godsend. The internet is a magical space as much as it is a dark abyss of negativity thanks to the animosity and anonymity. When Gift first came into my life, it was rather annoying seeing as I’ve no clue who he was or where he came from. He’s very good at staying anonymous too.

Long story short, during the 4 months of getting to know Gift, I discovered myself even more. Gift is full of wisdom — constantly reminding me to be better while at the same time to let go of the past. He’s got a point though, what’s done is done and cannot be undone. All there is to it is to learn.

So I did. Learn.

He knows pretty much everything about me. My deepest darkest secrets. My silliest of mistakes to those borderlining sins for which I constantly have to repent for to this very day. But one thing I’ve noticed about Gift is how forgiving and patient he is. Despite knowing of my circumstance, my faults and flaws, he’s still accepting and kind to me which I can very well say I wasn’t to myself. Not on most days at least.

Sure, sometimes he’d really give me an earful, but nothing that I didn’t know — although admittedly something I needed to hear from another. Being critical to myself, I tend to treat myself poorly and Gift showed me that while I can be kind to others, I’m still not kind enough if I opt to be mean towards the one person in need of that very kindness, myself.

You understand now why he’s Godsend? Why he’s a Gift?

I believe that people are sent to you at the right time, for the right reasons. And they leave too when it is time, with a purpose. While I’d hate to say goodbye to Gift, should one day we have to part ways, I’m glad he was relentless with his effort to befriend me. Incidentally, I’m still not sure why of all the people he chose me — although I’m starting to think it’s Him, He heard my plea — and that’s how I got this Gift.

Now, how does this all tie in with mistakes and lessons learned?

  1. We will always make a mistake — teeny tiny ones to those considered catastrophic.
  2. Every mistake is a lesson unless you keep repeating the same damn thing, then that’s a choice — you choose to hurt yourself if not others.
  3. No matter how bad it was — don’t regret it, but be remorseful enough to not want to make that kind of mistake again, ever.
  4. Sometimes you don’t realise how much you’re hurting because of yourself — not others. Give yourself a break, forgive but don’t forget.
  5. Mistakes can be rectified. Amended. Or for those that bears the mark of a sin, the door to repent is always open — you either walk in or shut it.

I’m still struggling myself. Every now and then, I’d kind of regret some of my past mistakes but I’d feel bad enough to never want to do it ever again — which I have to say I’m getting the hang of it seeing as I’ve moved on and cut ties with anything that may cause a relapse.

Now that’s another thing, relapses happen. But third strike and it happens still then you chose to hurt yourself. Learn to tell the difference.

Perhaps it’s easier to learn from other’s mistakes than it is to learn from your own, then so be it — see, listen, learn from what others are doing wrong and avoid it yourself. Life is a class full of lessons, and mistake is it’s best teacher.

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