In my blog about Letting Go of Anger, I suggested that part of letting go of anger against others includes letting go of anger at myself. Upon reflection, it wasn’t hard to make a list of things I’ve  messed up, regretted, or wished I could do over. Some are trivial, some are embarrassing, some are acts for which I need to ask forgiveness. Some recent ones that come to my mind are:

  • Overpaying for admission to the Ark Encounter in N. Kentucky. I misunderstood when the discount time started and paid more than I planned for our party of four. This wouldn’t be so bad for a worthy cause, but I didn’t want to support fake science with my dollars, I just wanted to indulge my curiosity.
  • On a more significant scale, my husband, Jim, and I have recently been bickering about whether I don’t listen well, especially since I too often am talking to him from another room and don’t always hear his answer. I maintain that he needs to speak more distinctly and say “Yes” or “No,” not something that sounds like “Nyeh.” It came to a head today. It’s humbling to be married, isn’t it? As long time lovers we don’t shy from letting each other know their faults. Fortunately, forgiveness heals.
  • Awhile ago I sent my Quarterly Blog Summary to part of a database that should have been only used for organizational communication. I was embarrassed by my mistake and realized that not everyone cares to know about “Living Lightly” just because we belong to the same organization. I tried to delete as many names as I knew, but it’s like trying to catch all the dandelion seeds/puffs when the wind blows.

Mistakes like these are not the end of the world, but they are humbling and can put a dent in one’s self-esteem. I suppose the solution is that when it involves another person to ask forgiveness; and when it’s just my own stupid mistake to forgive myself. Read Richard Rohr’s post on Forgiveness for a deeper understanding of forgiving self and others.

Whether it’s forgetting to recycle something that could have easily been recycled, criticizing someone, or breaking trust, we can’t go back and undo the past – we only learn from it to do better in the future. – Mistakes are the tools of learning.