Mistakes Aren’t Always What They Seem . . .


Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake?

I used to. As a recovering perfectionist, I used to get down on myself whenever I didn’t do anything optimally.

I didn’t really think I could get it “perfect,” but I did strive for optimal. Was I using my time in the best way possible? Was this approach in my business the best way?

If it took “too long,” or some better way appeared, I would feel bad.

Optimization was a prison. Making mistakes was not allowed.

I found out where that came from. Two foundational memories.

One was such an early memory, it’s amazing I remembered at all. I attribute the memory to a “cellular memory” stored in my body and spirit, that my spirit revealed to my soul (consciousness).

baby on incubator

My first six weeks of life were here.

When I was a week old, I got very sick and had to have abdominal surgery to cut away intestinal blockages. I was in the hospital for the first six or seven weeks of my life. On top of that, I burst my stitches at one point, and also got pneumonia. I was one sick baby.

In 1957, they did not let the mothers see the babies in the NICU. (Actually, the whole concept of a separate hospital unit for sick infants was itself in its infancy.)

So there were attachment issues for me as well. (Who did I actually bond with?)

It’s amazing that I can remember anything from so young an age. But I definitely have this hazy memory of a head nurse scolding my nurse, saying, “You can’t make a mistake in here. You could have killed that baby,” referring no doubt to me.

pencil with no eraser

No erasers allowed!

Another formative memory was first grade, when the teacher didn’t allow us to keep erasers on our pencils. She said it “encouraged us to make mistakes.” (In first grade!)

One night, I did my arithmetic homework, and realized I’d made a mistake. I erased my answer as carefully as I could, and wrote in the correct answer.

Nevertheless, the next day, the teacher still marked it wrong, because I hadn’t gotten it right the first time.

I’ve since healed both those memories, and now see mistakes as being a necessary part of learning and growth. Besides The Healing Codes, I want to share another thing that helped me with this.

It was being open to seeing mistakes as not being mistakes at all.

It started when my husband (who always did the grocery shopping) would sometimes not get what I’d put on the list, but something else.

At first I’d feel frustrated. But then I begrudgingly had to admit (to myself at least), that what he’d gotten instead was better.

I started being open to seeing what good could come out of other “mistakes.” Astonishingly, I saw that very often, God turned what seemed to be a mistake, or some frustrating experience, into something good.

One shining example of this was when I had ordered something online, and I couldn’t download it. I contacted the company owner, and somehow we ended up being great friends for years. She even supported me when I published Abundant Gifts. She loved it so much, she gave me $1000 to promote it! She also tutored me in online copywriting.

woman in gray long sleeve shirt reading book

God knew I love my books!

Another example: For years I chastised myself for not moving more of my books from my office to the basement, where we had all kinds of space for storing books. Well, after a basement flood and subsequent mold issue, we had to get rid of all the basement contents. I felt God had kept me from moving those books into the basement because those were books he didn’t want me to lose. (Being a writer, my books are among my most precious possessions.)

Because of these two things—healing the memories, and being open and even expecting “mistakes” to turn out well in the end—I no longer beat myself up when I do make a mistake. I look for ways to correct it, and if I can’t, then I wait to see what good can come out of it. Actually, I pray that God will bring good out of it. Then I look for how that prayer will be answered.

Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up for making a mistake. That, I believe, only puts up an energetic block to whatever good God might bring out of it.

Perfectionism and optimization, be gone!

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