Friday, August 3, 2018

How do you erase mistakes?

When you were younger in school and maybe in college there was a chance that at some point in time you were required to write a paper of some sort.  The schools would usually require papers to be written maybe once or twice a year depending on the grade you were in and the classes you were taking.

When I was in school there was limited, if any, availability of computers. There were typewriters but most, if not all, of the students actually hand wrote their papers. Nowadays kids benefit from tablets and laptops to be able to type their papers more efficiently and actually have the added benefit of spell check. Either way, when you made a mistake on the paper how did you correct it?

Nowadays it's a little easier to write and correct papers simply because you can write and then save them and once you proof read them then you can go back and make the changes on the saved file. If you see a mistake now as you are typing you can also simply use the backspace button and fix as you go.

When I was younger I didn't have those luxuries. Since we had to primarily hand write our papers there were other ways to fix and correct our writings. Most of the ways involved an eraser. Since using a pencil was usually suggested to use there was always the access to use the eraser to correct mistakes. Another way to correct errors was through the use of whiteout. Now, it would be much more beneficial to use that with a pen than a pencil but could be very effective. The main way I liked to fix my error and mistakes was simply to ball up the paper and throw it away then start all over. In either of these cases there would have to be a rough draft and a final draft to make sure that the paper looked clean and presentable.

I'm sure you remember this but I wanted you to get a visual before I start explaining this in an analogy and relating it to our lives.

So, how does this relate to our lives?

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If you've lived any amount of time on this earth you have made some mistakes. They could've been some through a lack of proper judgment or maybe just out of plain ole stupidity but they were mistakes nonetheless. Taking the subject at hand... how did you try and correct the mistake usually? Because most of the time we didn't want to admit that we did it. Much like we tried to correct our papers we usually would try to cover it up by any means possible. We would also take this opportunity to lie in order to not get in any trouble even if we hurt someone else in the process. We would often try to deflect the mistake and maybe even blame it on others instead of admitting our fault. Or we would try to run from it or pretend it didn't happen in the hopes that no one would find out and we would escape punishment. I'm sure that I have done most if not all of these throughout my life and so did you.

The question comes in to how we should try and handle a mistake or a lack of proper judgment in order to make sure that it gets behind us as quick as possible. Knowing that you can't erase or change your past or what you did... how can you live for today to help get past the mistakes and transgressions against others that you commit or committed?

I've got 5 important things that you can do that may help you in your recovery process.

1) Own up to it! I know personally how hard it is to admit to our mistakes. It's mainly hard because we don't want to hurt people or get in trouble. We don't want to suffer the consequences for the errors in judgment that we’ve committed so we don't want to admit them. I know it can be hard but owning up to it and admitting what you did can help make the recovery easier and begin sooner.

2) Repair the relationship! Often times, when we make a mistake, we hurt someone in the process. It could be because of theft or maybe hurting someone else in a relationship. I know it can be hard to do and the hurt person may not invite or welcome it but it's very important to try and repair whatever relationship you injured.

3) Ask forgiveness! In trying to repair a relationship it would have to involve asking for forgiveness at some point. I'm sure that too would be hard for both parties involved but will help begin the healing process and be a step in the right direction.

4) Learn from your mistakes! A vital step in the process is learning from your mistakes. This too can be hard since many times it takes us multiple times to commit a mistake before we actually learn from it. If you don't learn from it then it is very hard to grow. Learning from past mistakes is a path in life that I wish more people would follow.

5) Move forward! It's so easy to dwell on past mistakes especially if the ones we harmed won't forgive us. It's so easy to want to look back at a poor decision and let it rule and control our lives. I will tell you, though, that a past mistake can effect your present day since you can't go back in time and change what you did. All you can do is look at yourself in the mirror and figure out what you can do today to try and rectify or repair your past error. You will never grow in life if you can't let go of past mistakes.

These 5 things won't necessarily get you through every mistake that you ever made, depending on how serious they were, but they can help you move forward in the healing process. Can a mistake follow you for a long time? Sure it can but if you never take any steps to fix it then it will follow you forever either physically or mentally.

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