Like most everyone I have slowly grown into myself. Over the years, although more so when I was younger, the quest for self-discovery has lead to some mistakes. Having made mistakes, I then had to prove to myself and others that the mistakes were not the sum of me. I had to prove that I mattered.
There are various things that people do to soothe their anxious feelings, which in the long run only serves to temporarily distract us from our inner lives. Distraction never heals. I once heard a junkie comment, “I don’t even get high from it anymore; I do it to just maintain some kind of balance.” Maybe that is what we all strive for; some sense of equilibrium in our inner lives. At some point in my life I had to stop running from my mistakes and stop defining myself by my mistakes, by what I had not done right. This meant that I had to change how I looked upon my mistakes.
I came to believe that my mistakes don’t define me as a failure. I understand while not setting out to make it, that a mistake is actually an important lesson, a way of learning where that one step beyond the edge of the cliff is. While I have never set out to make a mistake, viewing them in this different light has enabled me to understand them as helping me to see who I don’t want to be. So oddly enough instead of running from myself my mistakes have helped me to choose myself. A mistake actually helps make me wiser!
With the years, more experience and some hard-won wisdom has come a certain acceptance of myself which is not the same thing as passivity. Instead of trying to prove to others that I matter I now know that I do matter to myself. That realization has brought peace. I have often heard that God can do great things with imperfect tools. Over the years I have come to accept in a healthy way that I am just a hand trowel in the potting shed. And that’s now okay!