Thank God for our short memory.
I can’t imagine what a wretched state we would find ourselves in if we were capable of remembering every mistake we’ve ever made, or had our souls pecked at each morning by our regrets. It would be a life of gloom, lacking in hope. We would live a life of suffocating reality that would paralyze our every desire and dream.
Thankfully we are not that smart, and there is be plan in place. I don’t know what that plan is, but I am lucky enough to find pieces of it, everywhere. It is very comforting to recognize that there is a purposeful order to the universe and by extension to our own existence.
It’s strange how we see our mistakes. We look at them through a prismed lens of death. With every failure we imagine and anticipate our life to be over.
What I mean by that is that every mistake, every questionable action or regrettable decision we commit, we interpret our life as headed towards an unredeemable calamity. We become the unjust judge who sentences herself to a life of unlimited suffering, that is not warranted. The act of living demands that we love, it does not call us to lay down on an altar like a sacrifice.
I am not suggesting we live in a wonderful world. I am quite aware of my surroundings and the times I live in. I am just saying that our mistakes and our questionable actions are redeemable.
Life is strange.
I’ve never done it before. I have never lived my life before. Every day is new and I shuffle my feet, the best I can, in a direction I believe I should go. I dream and try to steer my life with a divine purpose. I steer my ship with the wind of my dreams, towards a real and meaningful connection with other people. This is the only thing that makes sense to me.
The ultimate meaning of our life always begins and ends with the people who have gathered together on our thin raft. Yet, it is so easy to get distracted and seduced by many passing pleasures and possessions.
I don’t want to make mistakes. I’m sure you feel the same way.
They hurt and prick us. They force us to stand still and walk back. They give us calluses, nightmares, and become precursors to many vices.
Nobody likes mistakes. That is clear. But how else are we to live a life we’ve never lived before?
We must summon the courage and remind ourselves that our mistakes are not who we are. Similarly, we should not take any comfort in our accomplishments either.
We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS. Mistakes are acts. We are not. We were never meant to be their sum-total. Life is not a ledger. It is not a test. Life is a recess. Life is what happens before and after the bell.
The real danger presents itself after we make a mistake. It lies in what we do next. That little moment of hesitation, minutes or years after has disastrous consequences. Our feelings of guilt and regret often stop us from living and forgiving ourselves. Those deep penetrating thoughts often tell us to give up, or worse prevent us from ever trying again.
I think that is the most dangerous war zone on earth is waged within ourselves. Righting wrongs seems easy enough in comparison to the collateral damage we often live with for what feels like eternity.
Mistakes are not bullets or explosives. Mistakes are like toxic gas. They don’t pierce our soul, they consume it. They have no size. Like a gas, a mistake fills the lungs and spreads to every living cell of the body. It penetrates everything. It lingers and chokes. Mistakes make us wheeze until we fall to our knees and no longer have the strength to look forward.
I think that a purposeful life is lived by a person who learns to live with their mistakes. It does gets easier with time, but many of us lack the patience to be still in the middle of the storm
We need to live with the real possibility that we will fail again, and know that we will. But we cannot let ourselves be crippled by the lies that follow our mistakes. We must shelter ourselves from the after effects of our fall and take it to heart that we are never the sum total of our failures.
Like the Phoenix, buried in the ashes of our wretchedness, we have the will to rise again.
Redemption is hiding on the horizon.