When we don’t have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we also don’t have healthy ways of examining, processing and learning from our mistakes. We’re taught from our families and from mainstream culture that we want to avoid making mistakes at all costs. We see mistakes as evidence of our failure rather than as necessary parts of our evolution towards success. We feel tremendous sadness and anxiety when we feel like we’ve let ourselves or other people down. We feel angry with ourselves for making mistakes. We feel disappointed in ourselves. We deny ourselves our forgiveness, we judge ourselves, and we hold ourselves to impossible standards of perfection. When we think of ourselves as failures, we also feel like we’re shameful, immoral people. Healing from our emotional issues means developing a new relationship to ourselves and to our mistakes. Healing involves learning to see ourselves as constantly growing and changing, with the potential for self-improvement and personal development.
When we’re coasting along in life not taking risks, not putting ourselves out there, not stretching ourselves or testing our limits, we aren’t really learning much. Our fear of making mistakes holds us back and limits our potential. We aren’t seeing just what we’re capable of. We’re resigning ourselves to the comfort zone of never making mistakes. Our mistakes, however, are actually portals to our expansion. When we explore our mistakes and all of the pain and fear that come along with them, we learn more about ourselves and more about the person we want to become.
In every mistake, no matter how painful, no matter how damaging, there is a lesson to be learned. We could choose to see our mistakes as a means of self-education. The more we know about ourselves, the more we can be empowered to make healthy changes in our lives and correct our thoughts, feelings and behaviors in order to be happier with the choices we make for ourselves. Examining our mistakes rather than avoiding thinking about them out of fear of the pain they’ll bring us, allows us to develop our self-awareness so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. Trying to deny our mistakes and avoiding feeling them only sets us up to repeat them. We develop cycles of self-destructive behavior that perpetuates the feelings and behaviors that caused us to make those mistakes in the first place.
The next time we’re feeling overwhelmed, ashamed or sad about our past mistakes, we can mindfully choose to dig deep into the pain of our mistakes and see past the circumstances into the greater emotional information within. We can use this information to help ourselves heal and to create healthier patterns for ourselves moving forward.
Our recovery benefits immensely from being able to learn about ourselves in a safe, caring, supportive and nurturing environment. Call Bayview Recovery today: 888-570-7154.