I invite you to think back to a time when you did or said something that you immediately or later regretted. You told yourself, “This was a mistake.” You told yourself, “I should have known better.” As you held your head in your hands, your stomach knotting up, now on the verge of tears, or hysteria, you said to yourself, “How could I have?” “How can I take it back?”
Maybe you continued living with this “supposed mistake”, pushing it down and burying it deep in your subconscious – unaware of the damage negative thoughts and self-talk were causing you.
Writing has this incredible way of requiring you to lay out all of your memories on an imaginary table as if they were a giant puzzle. You must then think back and remember the things that stand out most in your mind – good or bad – in order to write about them. Just the mere exercise of submerging yourself in the emotions of that experience can take you right back to the original event, as if you were living it all over again. Of course, depending on what you’re writing about, this can be a favorable or unfavorable experience, and it will also depend on how deep and honest you are willing to go with your writing.
I recently had a dream where I went back to the home I had lived in previously, with my now ex-husband and my son. What I discovered were many things still in the kitchen cupboards that I wasn’t aware were there, or that I had left behind, not realizing the significance of these pieces. As I discovered these things in the cupboards – bringing them out and examining them – my heart sang with joy and delight. I was excited to have found these “hidden treasures” I thought I would never see or touch again.
My son’s room had the same cupboards, hung high on his walls. The toys from his boyhood were still neatly arranged inside. I kept asking him what he was going to do with all of these favorite things from so long ago because in the dream he was preparing to move.
What dawned on me as I came out of the dream was that these hidden treasures represented the gems of wisdom I had gained from my experiences. And not just from the immediate past, but all the experiences throughout my life – supposed “mistakes” I thought I had made in my relationships, financial matters, child-rearing, and communications – things I had said or done that may have caused harm.
The brilliance of this dream astounded me as I looked back at how many times I had felt I had made mistakes, then felt the shame of this energy penetrate my core like black tar dripping into and over me. What I didn’t realize at the time these events were happening is that the energy of shame, regret, self-inflicted anger and punishment was indeed still within my core. These balls of energy created by my negative thoughts and words against another or myself had been stored within the cells of my body, finding their way to the weakest areas and nestling in and making themselves at home, creating an invitation for di-sease.
We humans are not perfect, yet we judge and critique one another by the outside world’s “perceived standard” of what favorable and acceptable behavior or appearances should be. We are only returning souls, eager for another chance to get right the lessons we are presented with in this lifetime, so they are not repeated in the next.
“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
― Earl Nightingale
In the dream, I wanted to bring all of the hidden treasures back with me; I just didn’t know how I would pack them all in my suitcase. Now I understand and can appreciate that they are, and always have been, a part of me, ignored as unusable junk or memories I didn’t want to think about ever again.
These hidden treasures no longer represent junk to me as I have shifted my perspective from mistake to blessing and opportunity.
I am now in the conscious process of removing the word “mistake” from my vocabulary. I believe there are no mistakes, only opportunities for growth and lessons learned. The same lessons need not be repeated.
I invite you to become a part of my community. Join the conversation and share your story as it relates to the ideas in “our” blog.