I Made a Mistake

July 9, 2021

Admitting your mistakes can be a very difficult thing. It’s even harder to turn those moments into character-building opportunities. Low Entropy Volunteer Writer Tricia Keith shows us how both can be done.

In a world that seems ready to tell me that I have made an error, that I am wrong, that I am mistaken and, therefore, unlovable . . . wait a minute, what world is this? . . . It’s the one that I have been living in, after making a big mistake.

The size of this mistake is relative to the trust between me and another. I would call it a big mistake if it’s going to tarnish that trust, and it likely will. Now what do I do?

Avoid my mistake, and in fact, that person? A fairly easy job to do, from the outside, given that my connections to this person are not in-person. But my conscience is; my conscience is my inner person.

My fearful thinking tells me that if I cough up my truth, it will badly damage my relationship to this person and maybe more. My first response is to retract into myself and hide.

I expect fear to rescue me, and fear expects to be the hero in this mind game. Dig a hole. Hide out until the situation passes over and disappears, deep into an archive of emails. Yah, right, OK. Got it. But after two sleepless days with a tight chest and anxious, recursive thoughts, I realize that fear is not going to free me.

Thankfully, I have two trusted allies, and more thankfully, they received my story with non-judgmental listening; they agreed that it was a mistake, that I was in the wrong, but also that I was not unworthy of their love. That’s really the bottom line. I was not unworthy of their love.

The question then became, could I BE that for myself?

Suddenly, two lines of self-narrative began to emerge: my faulty judgment that initiated the mistake, and my growing capacity to love myself enough to be present and admit my mistake, no matter the consequences.

Without meaning to or preaching at me, my two allies (my husband and my sister) showed me that I could grow from my mistake by being honest. Where fear wanted to keep me in the dark, self-love gave me the courage to be present, in full lighting.

This situation of discovering my mistake, and that it was public, felt like a bomb going off inside me, though it is really inconsequential in the greater scheme of things. Away from the office bubble that I work within, I am encouraged by the heroes and sheroes who stand up for their truths everyday in the face of discrimination, oppression and violence. As a white, cis-gender woman, I know that I am privileged because I can assume a centered position within the scheme of structural racism and oppression.

In order to begin unlocking the interlocking chains of colonial history, I endeavor to develop my capacity to admit my mistakes. Microaggressions that I am conditioned to overlook, I need not to see with fearful eyes, but with self-love, in order to process the chain of events and not pass them on to my children.

The Low Entropy community is a group of non-judgmental, empathetic individuals who are committed to ensuring that people feel loved, no matter what kind of mistakes they’ve made. Interact with us in the comments below, on our social media channels or in-person at a Conscious Connections meeting!

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