When You Hate Yourself for Your Mistakes
When I realize that I made a mistake.
And I wake up in the middle of some nights cringing, smacking myself over and over again in my mind.
I messed up.
When I can’t get that embarrassing memory out of my mind.
When I screwed up, big time. And in front of a lot of people. And opinions were formed about me because of my behavior.
When I realize that it was actually my fault. My pride. My fear. My insecurity. My lack of trust in Yahweh. And there’s no one else to blame.
Those are the times I mentally beat myself up. When I feel less than. Those are the times that my pride, even now, tries to justify, in some small way, what I did; by going over the event again and again and again.
I know I’m not the only person who does this. I know I’m not the only person who’s made a big mistake. I know some of you also wake up at night and cringe.
But sometimes I think about all these mistakes at once. Why can’t I just be perfect all the time?
I guess this life isn’t supposed to be a one-stop destination. It’s a journey. And maybe it’s more about the journey than it is about just the destination: “Do you know where you’re going when you die?” Maybe what I learn along the way actually makes me better and more prepared for the destination.
These journeys, though, can be treacherous. And sometimes they’re crazy and weird and awkward and unfamiliar. We don’t always know what to do.
And our lack of experience makes us blind to what we should do. And after we fall down, then we realize why.
And that “why” is gold, because “why” is a lesson. And we can sit on our beds and cringe and pull pillows over our faces. We can replay the events or series of events over and over in our mind.
We can learn.
Learning is part of self betterment. Learning is not always a walk in the park. Sometimes learning hurts. Admitting that you were wrong can hurt.
I was prideful, but next time I’ll be humble. I was scared, but next time I’ll trust in God. I was wrong, but next time I’ll choose right.
Instead of criticizing and berating ourselves about the unchangeable past, we can choose to see our mistakes in a logical “action and consequence” kind of way. You did A and the outcome was B. You could have done something else and the outcome would have been C.
I’m not bad because my actions had negative consequences. I’m just human and I made a mistake.
And it’s a good thing I don’t have to rely on myself for improvement. Yahweh is here for me and you to guide us through this long journey. To help us change.
Erasing all the mess ups from my past sounds tempting. But if I had to live in the present without any of the lessons from my past, I’d be a completely different person.