My heart is heavy today. I don't want to go into details because it affects a dear friend of mine, but to sum up learning from mistakes is hard. We've all been there. We've all said things that we wished we had never said, took out anger on someone that we shouldn't, told a white lie to spare someone's feelings only to make matters so much worse. (And if you can't say yes to one of these, then you must be God and that means I have SEVERAL questions for you because I don't understand much.) Then you get to deal with the lovely or rather not so lovely consequences of your mistake.
The first being complete and utter panic over your mistake. (Why, oh why, did I say that?!)
This is closely followed by beating yourself to a pulp because you know that there is no going back. You messed up, big time.
You then face the ultimate confrontation. (You get called out on your mistake.)
Lastly, the apology, hopefully, forgiveness and moving forward.
But there is another step. There is always this tiny drop of doubt or fear that the person(s) involved didn't forgive you. That your mistake was so big that despite what was said, it's not over.
So you begin to carry the weights from that event along with you. If you continue to do this, you will gather quite a load! The result is feeling literally weighed down. You can't move forward because your pack is too heavy. It's too heavy because you have weighed it down with guilt, frustration, paranoia, mistrust, hurt, etc.
So what's happening? You have been forgiven. God has forgiven you, the people involved have forgiven you, so why can't you let go? The key word in that sentence is you. You haven't forgiven you. You have taken all the baggage and strapped it to yourself. You have given yourself a life-sentence. You are believing the lies that are in your head.
I hope that the next time you make a mistake, you will go through the emotions that go with all of that...BUT this time I hope that you will give yourself a break. I hope that you will receive that forgiveness you are seeking and give yourself permission to move forward and learn from whatever mistake you have made. Please use the mistake as a learning experience and try to do better next time. You won't avoid making mistakes in the future, but you will have knowledge that can potentially keep you out of a similar fate next time. Good luck!
***Also if you enjoyed this post. I just read a very well-written post from Laura over at A Day in the Life. You should definitely check it out. A very encouraging read.