There’s nothing worse than the feeling of defeat and despair that comes after making a terrible mistake in your life especially one that could have been avoided if you paid attention or listened to warnings you received from everything and everyone around you.
Two years ago, I laid in my bed with my head on a wet pillow from the tears that wouldn't stop running down my face. I realized my life was a complete mess. I wasted valuable time in unhealthy situations that cost me time, money, and relationships.
Do you look back on your life and all you see is a mess? Do you look back and all you see are the mistakes, the regrets, the wrong choices, and the failures? Maybe you wish you could get a chance to go back and make certain things right?
Perhaps your past haunts you when you are awake and follows you into your dreams. Maybe you wake up in the morning and the first thought that comes to your mind is of a past mistake?
I know the feeling all too well because I've been there. I wished for a chance to go back in time and make different choices.
“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.” — Mandy Hale
But will you believe me when I say everything happens for a reason? There is a reason everything happened the way it did. Regardless of the pain, you can turn your mess into a message to help someone out there who feels the same pain you feel.
Sure it’s so hard and it doesn’t seem like things will improve. You can’t even get up off the couch and make yourself something to eat. Things do not seem like they will get better when you are living the same haunted days over and over again. But your greatest mistakes can end up becoming your greatest blessings. Just do these things to turn your mess into your message.
Admit the Part You Played
There is no such thing as failure — failure is just life trying to move us in another direction — Oprah Winfrey
Admit what you did. Admit you are wrong. Admit you were young. Admit you were naïve and did not know any better. Admit that you ignored all the warnings. Admit that you did not listen. Do this to gain clarity about what happened and not to torture yourself.
Begin by writing or pondering over the details of the events and your own actions that contributed to the situation. Resist the need to blame others or external circumstances, and focus only on yourself. Admit it’s all your fault.
Be Grateful For the Experience
Be grateful for the pain of yesterday. It opens your eyes to see the blessings of today.
Sometimes the challenges you go through end up being the best thing that could have happened to you. It is through the ups and downs that you grow the most. You won't see it that way but when you look back, you will see how much you've grown from it. No matter how your situation looks like, be grateful. Be grateful for your pain. Give thanks to the lessons and for what it came to teach you. Sing praises in the storm.
Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing Any better
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it- Maya Angelou
Sometimes we look at our mistakes through our current eyes and we are hard on ourselves for making decisions we made in the past when we didn't know any better. We made decisions and acted the way we did with the facts we had at the time.
Living in remorse isn’t a productive way to cope. As difficult as it may seem, letting go of guilt, regrets and shame is a necessary part of the moving on process so forgive yourself and others.
Learn From Your Mistakes
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — Henry Ford
Take time to reflect on your mistakes. Analyze every move you made. Dig into your failures. Mistakes are necessary. They help us to learn and grow as people, and without mistakes, we would never evolve. While it’s painful to revisit your past mistakes, they contain valuable lessons that you can apply to different areas of your life.
Within the humiliations are hard-earned pearls of truth and wisdom. The silver lining is not always obvious in the days or months after a mistake or failure. But if you pay attention, you will see the universe’s hand in directing you where we need to go.
Focus on Your Rising, Not the Fall
Life isn’t about not making mistakes, it’s about what we learn from making them.
It’s not about how hard you fall, it’s about how gracefully you rise up after you fall. Focus on what you have learned from your mistakes. Focus on how you are going to use it to help another person.
Focus on how you are holding it together when your friends and family expect you to fall apart. Stand up, get your tail from between your legs, and rise above the pain. Be bold with your mistakes and take your recovery seriously.
Turn Your Mess Into Your Message
If nothing good is happening for you, do something good for someone else.
One way to overcome huge mistakes in your life is to forgive yourself and seek opportunities to help others. What can you do to contribute to someone’s life? How can you help a friend and be of service to your community?
When you shift your focus from you to others, some ground-breaking shifts begin to occur in your mind and in your life. We are meant to live a life where we help others improve theirs. We are here to make a difference in someone else's life. That is how real change happens.
If you can't help yourself, what can you do to help someone else? Ask yourself that question every time you are feeling helpless. There are millions of people who are struggling in this world. There is always someone you can help out there. There are people going through a very difficult time and maybe they are too afraid or even embarrassed to ask for help. Seek them out and help them.
It is easy to move past your personal problems when you are focused on helping others. When you become of value to others, magical things begin to happen.
This isn’t about what you’ll get in return for helping. It's about making a difference in someone's life and smiling silently to yourself. That is the true reward. Knowing you made someone's life just a little bit better.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the “scars” as a part of the design. Using this as a metaphor for healing ourselves teaches us an important lesson: Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient.
No matter how bad your heart is hurting, no matter how disappointed you feel, no matter how scary your life seems right now, find your strength, and share your knowledge. Share your experiences. Tell your story. Let others who are going through a similar situation know they are not alone.
Share your failures along with your wins. Pave the way for someone. Help someone avoid the mistakes you’ve already made. Share your biggest breakdowns and finish it with your biggest breakthroughs if you’ve gotten through it.
Write your book and tell your story. Start a blog. It will encourage someone who is about to give up to keep going. Create a course that helps others improve their lives.
Your mess happened so you have the wisdom to help others who are feeling hurt. Perhaps it happened to grow you. Or maybe it happened because life happens and there’s nothing you can do about it. But you can turn your mess into a message for someone who desperately needs it. Your message might provide inspiration and motivation for someone to keep going. Your message might even save a life.
The heartbreak I went through, my pain and suffering serve a special purpose. Without the mess, I wouldn’t have a message anybody could resonate with. I wouldn't be who I am now without my past. I wouldn't be as strong if things hadn't happened the way they did. And I wouldn't change a single thing because they have all molded me into the person I am today. And now, I am bold enough to share my message with you. I hope you gather courage and do the same.
These steps are not always easy to follow — especially during times when we have truly messed up. And that is okay. Have compassion for yourself, learn to love yourself unconditionally, and take your self-care seriously. You will recover from our mistakes. You will learn from them. You will forgive yourself, and you will move on and turn your mess into your message. You are worthy of your love and forgiveness.