Many times, when I’m sitting in my cube at work, my mind starts drifting back over my life — things I’ve done, places I’ve gone, people I’ve known, jokes that have made me laugh, conversations that have made me cry.
Sometimes my mind will drift back to good memories that make me smile and laugh out loud and send an email to my sister or my mom or a good friend to let them know I was thinking about a fun time we had. But sometimes my mind drifts back to mistakes that I’ve made. Maybe it was a time I got fuming mad over nothing. Maybe it was a time I acted stupid and embarrassed someone. Maybe it was a time a made a really bad decision. Or maybe it was a time I got idiotically drunk or sad or jealous and ruined the night for everyone.
When my mind drifts back to these mistakes, I start to get all yucky inside. Suddenly, I can’t think about anything else besides how crappy I am. I start to wonder if the people I’ve hurt have forgotten what happened and forgiven me or if they’ll always remember me as the girl that messed up. I start to regret acting how I acted and get really sad thinking that the memory is something I can never take back and do over. An hour or so of thinking like this usually puts me in a not-so-good mood and it can take some major cheering up to yank myself out of the funk.
So yesterday, when my brain began wandering back onto thoughts like these, I decided to stop the pattern before it started. I went to the web and looked up some quotes about mistakes. I found some that spoke to me personally and inspired me to let go of the past and not dwell on my mistakes. Then I printed them out and put them up in my cube.
Hopefully they’ll help me remember that mistakes aren’t necessarily bad because not only do we have a chance to learn and grow from them, but they make us who we are. And although I sometimes fear that I’m learning from my mistakes at the speed of a turtle, I do think I’m learning from them, and so far, I think I’m turning out ok.
Here are the quotes:
Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.
--Swami Sivananda, Indian Yoga master
I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life's experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life's experiences would be a great mistake.
--Luis Miguel, Singer
There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.
--Richard Bach, Writer
If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.
--Mary Pickford, Actress