If you were to count the number of mistakes you have made since you were 13 how many would they be? Now let us narrow it down to grave mistakes, how many do you have? Mine are 3 or 4 but I am not ready to name them because some I have not forgiven myself, 15 years later I still think about them.
The rationale behind mistakes ruining your life is that forgiving yourself can be tough. You are walking around with your guilt hanging around your neck like a hangman’s noose and the more those mistakes that you cannot forgive yourself for pile up, the tighter the noose becomes.
Forgiving yourself is being able to accept that you will not always make the right decisions: Easier said than done.
I have often felt that these mistakes I carry around sometimes define my character. I keep thinking back to those days and then say to myself, “Imagine that is why things are not going your way. Would you talk to yourself if you knew the terrible things you have done?”
You may ask why I keep tagging these mistakes because some I did and I repeated. Remember the Swahili saying, “Kosa si kosa. Kosa ni kurudia tena” I done did it again and again, over and over. I like to consider these repetitions as bad decisions.
At the end of 2020, my then boss asked me “What are you plans for 2021?” and I said “Clearing up my past. All the mistakes I made when I was young are catching up and I need to drop them like they’re hot.”
I did not even think of saying things like building my career, or starting an emergency fund or going back to school. My mind went to my mistakes because I felt they would ruin my future for me.
As I write this I am slowly letting go and accepting the consequences of those mistakes. Trust me, some keep me awake at night and some make me bawl myself out. Add overthinking to that and I almost die crying.
Anything That I Have Learnt So Far?
Wishing life had a reset button is a waste of wishful thinking. You are wasting your three genie wishes.
My mistakes have made me more humble and less judge Judy and some have shaped me.
Think about it: Are some of your ‘mistakes’ really mistakes or did they become a mistake because you defied an order. Or disagreed with someone’s school of thought? Or did something right by you? Or did something they would never do because they are sanctimonious?
To further exemplify this: I got pregnant when I was 19, was it a mistake for me, no but to the society it was. How can you get pregnant without a husband? How could you without finishing school first? Fast forward, the society now thanks me for keeping the pregnancy and raising the baby. What if I was not strong enough and had committed suicide from the needless shame they wanted to instill in me?
If you are still stuck regretting your mistakes, this quote makes it better for me: “When I look back in my life, I see pain, mistakes and heartaches. When I look in the mirror I see strength, learned lessons, and pride in myself.”
I hope it makes it better for you too.