21 January 2018

Mistakes

We all make mistakes. In my life I have made many mistakes. I wish I could just swat them away like irritating little flies but my mistakes tend to remain with me. I replay them over and over again, berating myself for my stupidity, for not saying or doing the right thing, for allowing the mistake to happen in the first place.

We cannot help who we are. Someone like me who mulls over mistakes and allows them to upset my equilibrium, I cannot suddenly turn into the kind of human being who brushes mistakes away as if they were just bits of fluff on a jacket.

It's easy to say - just forget it - but if blotting things out is not in your nature then "just forgetting" is not really  an option.

I think of that song by Edith Piaf  - "Je Ne Regrette Rien" ("I Regret Nothing") and I wish that I could be that way - moving on without regrets. It sounds quite blissful but speaking for myself I have many regrets. Small ones and big ones. It is easy to feel haunted  by them as they are replayed in my mind's eye.

How about you? What is your relationship with the mistakes you have made  and the mistakes you continue to make?

40 comments:

  1. I'm a complete opposite to you. I'm sure you already knew this. I do not dwell on things. However , there are some people who I wish could let things go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should market a special tonic to combat the blues- "Red"- "for that upbeat feeling"...

      Delete
  2. I don't tend to ruminate over them. I also try to avoid taking actions that may end in regret later, by asking myself if I think I will regret doing (or not doing) something. It drives me to do the right thing most of the time, even if it's difficult in the moment.

    Perhaps what you are really talking about is more about forgiving yourself than it is about forgetting the mistakes. My ability to forgive others and myself was changed profoundly when I was in my thirties. I read a book about forgiveness and the gist of it was that to forgive you must remember that most people are doing about the best they can with what they know at the time. Most people do not waken in the morning wondering how they can hurt people or otherwise screw up today. They do the best they can with the knowledge they have at the time. And that holds true for everyone - including ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your reflections on this topic Jenny. Perhaps you are right. It might be forgiveness that I need to cultivate rather than forgetting.

      Delete
  3. I have a few long term regrets but I mostly cringe and over think a mistake for a few hours to a few days and then just get on with things.

    Everything jenny_o says is right

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are mistakes that I made when I was a child that I still mull over now but most mistakes get buried after a while as new issues come along.

      Delete
  4. Life's too short to dwell on mistakes. I just put it all down to experience and hope that I've learnt something from my bad judgement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish your attitude was infectious. You could send it to me as a computer virus.

      Delete
  5. I consider my mistakes experiences and lessons in life. Sometimes I find the positive sides to them too. But I do dwell if I think I've said something that can hurt a person's feelings. I cannot keep grudges, I don't sulk and I'm too talkative to keep the silent treatment. But we must also not take ourselves too seriously.
    Greetings Maria x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At times I can be light-hearted and often I have that feeling when walking miles through the countryside. Lightheartedness is a good thing but not always easy to grasp.

      Delete
  6. I've made a few mistakes during my 68 years, I think it's inevitable that we don't always get everything right. I can recall instances from years ago when I think, I really shouldn't have done that. But time moves on, I am not the same person as I was then.

    Now that I am older I am trying to make up for some of my misdemeanours by being a better person. My way of silently saying I'm sorry.

    There's no way of erasing mistakes completely, no way of turning the clock back, but there is a way of going forward with a better understanding of what life should be like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are wise words. Thank you for writing them Meanie.

      Delete
  7. As Joseph Conrad put it, it’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable in a life lived well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joseph Conrad also said "Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it."

      Delete
  8. What Jenny says mirrors my own approach. Having said that, I am not completely immune to regrets and feelings of guilt - who is? I think it shows that we do take responisibility for our actions. There are those moments when I wake up at night, between 3 and 4 in the morning, when my conscience seems to be at its most acute. I lay awake then for a while, remembering my worst mistakes and deeply regretting them. Others I really put down as learning and shaping experiences, such has having married my first husband - a mistake, yes, but not something I regret.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always think things through and provide a well-considered response. For this I am grateful.

      Delete
  9. We're kidding the most important person...our own self...if we think otherwise.

    There are somethings - some mistakes - we can brush aside and forget...there are others that we can't. I speak for myself, but I am sure I am not alone.

    Hell! I hate making typos...and berate myself severely when I do!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am like you in that respect Lee. The urge to write accurately without mistakes is just part of my psyche. It's not just spelling and punctuation that I desperately want to get right - it's all the other stuff too.

      Delete
    2. And upon reading my comment through again this morning....I notice I made a typo in it!!!!!!!

      "some things"....not "somethings"!!! Gerrrrrr!!!

      Delete
  10. Onwards and upwards
    That's what, in hindsight, I think...at the time it's not so easy.
    Big mistakes in my life? Only one.....
    One very bad relationship.
    Never again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always seem to have an upbeat attitude as if the crap that life throws up is like water upon a duck's back. It just falls away.

      Delete
  11. I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, but without a couple of them I would have missed out on some good things later. One example was my disastrous, very brief first marriage. If it had not taken place, I would not have lived in the right spot to meet the future love of my life. We would not have met at all--so I'm thankful for it, even though it was a definitely a mistake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you blogged about it but I didn't know you had been married before.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure that I HAVE blogged about it. It seems so very inconsequential now....I was very young, and it only lasted 3 years. Leaving and starting over was the best decision I ever made.

      Delete
  12. I have made a couple of huge mistakes in my life. And, I mean enormous! Those I think about now and then and what the consequences were and still are. I believe that people make mistakes every day....small ones or ones that might make another feel unhappy....if just for a moment. Those small mistakes one must ask for forgiveness or correct immediately as best you can and then let it go. I am an outspoken and truthful woman. Well, I speak my truth, anyway. So, I try very hard as I get older to just keep my mouth shut if I think that my words or actions will harm another in any slight way. Which tests my courage and resolve almost every day. As you can imagine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I can imagine that. It's never easy having to replay mistakes. A nice thing about taking long walks in the countryside is that I never come back with mistakes to mull over. When you say you made a couple of "huge" mistakes I am left wondering what they might have been.

      Delete
  13. I don't believe in mistakes because I don't believe there is only one right way for things to happen. There are many possibilities. Sometimes this is revealed right away (like if you get lost and have a better time on that path than the one you chose) and sometimes you have to wait a long while to see it. As I get older, I forget the so-called mistakes anyway. So, I recommend just living a long life and eventually those mistakes will all go away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true that when life's curtains are closed forever, our mistakes will not trouble us. I wish I could be a bit more like you but I can't be.

      Delete
  14. I've made a few but have never voted for Momentum or looked through folks windows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't you look through some folks' windows when you visited the red light area in Amsterdam?

      Delete
    2. Yes I did but totally missed the tart. I was mocked for years for assuming it was a lingerie shop.
      We used to dock in Rotterdam and once got pulled in a hire car whilst looking for a lad who I'd played rugby against. The Buzzies took us to his bar and all was well. We stopped the night but there was very little to show for it other than a headache.

      Delete
  15. Imagine you are in space, say, hanging out on the moon, looking down on Earth. Do you see the size of your mistakes, compared to all that earthly terrain and the infinite emptiness beyond? That's the actual size of the errors you've made.

    I know we tend to think of ourselves are the pin-point of all existence, but we're really just one of billions of momentary inhabitants of an average planet on the edge of an ordinary galaxy. Dust.

    If this thought doesn't help (it works for me in a lot of cases when I get too wrapped up in myself), you should consider confession. Telling one other person your worst secrets (and I assume your sense of guilt over your mistakes is so dire that you keep them secret) is very freeing. A therapist has probably heard worse, a priest is anonymous (especially if you're not Catholic) and, if you don't cotton to the idea of dealing with a human, writing them down on paper and burning them is also effective.

    Hearing yourself say the secrets out loud, or reading your story as you've written it down, is a fantastic way of making them shift out of your brain and into the ether. In other words, it's a good way of letting go. I speak from experience.

    I also remember all my wrong steps, lapses of judgement, times I was silent when I should have spoken up. I loathe myself, but I atone by being more accountable these days, by being more thoughtful, pro-active, and loud. And I've learned to let go.

    And if you've ever made the mistake of being mean to a dog, you can atone by adopting the oldest, deafest, smelliest, least house-broken pup in your local animal shelter and giving it a good, loving home for the rest of its days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this well-considered response Vivian. Your phrase "wrong steps, lapses of judgement, times I was silent when I should have spoken up" has particular resonance for me. You are right to surmise that I keep my mistakes to myself. They rattle around in my head and often haunt me. Nobody else knows - but I shan't be adopting a dog - especially not the kind of dog you describe!

      Delete
  16. I think it's the human condition, to make mistakes and while I applaud and admire all the good folk who have commented to "forget and move on" I myself cannot. I relive a lot of my mistakes, even ones made as a child. I had a very strict mother and this has shaped my thoughts forever. It's hardwired into my brain to feel inadequate and less than perfect.
    We have to live with it. I have seen a psychiatrist to try to help myself and have read a stack of self help books. It's difficult to change ones fundamental behaviours but that shouldn't stop us from trying.
    Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you suggest Christina, it is just the way we are wired. Thankfully, there is also joy, laughter and pride to counteract the regretting and the replaying of mistakes.

      Delete
  17. I am exactly like you in that respect. 61 years FULL of regrets about things done, said and not done, not said. I always wonder why a human being such as me was made the way I am. Glad to know I'm not the only one who berates themselves when they think about stuff in the past they regret.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I notice that you put the word "full" in capitals so I realise the impact of regretting upon your life Kathy. Reliving mistakes can blight one's inner life but the curse becomes more bearable when we also experience friendship, kindness and occasional fun times.

      Delete
  18. I think as we get older we become more conscious of the mistakes of our youth. I remember being in my 20s and declaring to friends that I regretted nothing -- and now I can think of several things I regret that happened before my 20s! I just wasn't really aware of them, you know?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really like you post good blog,Thanks for your sharing.

    ดูหนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.