How to embrace mistakes

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The topic of mistakes and bad choices seems to be coming into my conversational world a lot lately. Mistakes and bad choices are universal. Whether they are conscious, intentional, subconscious, accidental, or out of simple ignorance, we all find ourselves with a myriad of mistakes and bad choices. Funny thing is, we most often desire to run from them, hide them, avoid them, and deny them. I’ve been thinking about the beauty of embracing our mistakes. I know, it sounds far-fetched, but go with me on this one.

What do I mean by embrace my mistakes? Well, imagine a loved one you haven’t seen in a long time. One that you were very close to and that meant a lot to you in a different season of life. You will not just greet them with a simple hug, you will embrace them. You will open your arms to them, wrap your arms around them, pull them in close, and hold onto them for a moment. What would it look like if we chose to interact with our mistakes and bad choices in the same spirit? How do we embrace our mistakes?

  1. We open our arms to mistakes – This implies that we are glad about our mistakes. We openly receive them and allow them to be a part of our world. We look them in the eyes and we welcome them into our reality. We acknowledge their presence and existence when we open our arms to them.
  2. We wrap our arms around our mistakes – This action is one that communicates acceptance and value. We recognize that mistakes have value in our life and we are going to accept them in that light. We make the choice to wrap our arms around them rather than toss them aside. We give them open invitation to exist in our life.
  3. We pull our mistakes in close – We take a clear and honest look at our mistakes. We look at them objectively and we see how, where, when, and why they exist. We pull them in close enough to see them for what they really are in our lives. As we pull mistakes in close, it implies an intimacy with our own actions, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.
  4. We hold onto our mistakes for just a moment – We hold onto them for a moment to experience familiarity. Is this a mistake I’ve embraced before? Is this familiar? Holding our mistakes for a moment helps us to see patterns and themes of mistakes that enter our life often. We recognize new mistakes that have not been made before as well as recognizing ones we’ve embraced before.

Why in the world would we want to go through all of this just for our mistakes and bad choices? It is simple and it is one word, Transformation! I don’t know about you, but I long to be transformed. My true desire is that next year, I will not be who I am this year. Transformation can happen exponentially when we chose to embrace our mistakes. When we embrace them, they have the opportunity to help us see things about ourselves we might not normally see. They show us the areas in our lives that need transformation. They are actually a gift, as their very presence is the first step towards change.

There is a profound and mysterious beauty in embracing our mistakes. I wonder, what mistake is standing at your door awaiting your embrace?

2 thoughts on “How to embrace mistakes

  1. This is a really great post! I’m still learning to embrace my own mistakes, but I do feel like I’m getting better at it. I think my hesitation was that by embracing mistakes I would be throwing up my hands in defeat and saying, “Oh well I guess it doesn’t matter if I screw up.” Instead, I still try my hardest, I just don’t beat myself up if things out of my control don’t go as planned.

    • Thank you Stephanie. I love to hear your perspective and journey. I think it is a powerful perspective to see our mistakes as opportunities that can build us up, instead of opportuities to beat ourselves up! We can so often find ourselves destroyed by the very things that could catalyze change in our lives! I’m taking some time to embrace a few mistakes today too! 🙂

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