I came across the following quote from Mary Pickford that, to me, is a great follow up to my previous article regarding forgiveness (Forgiveness):
If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.” ~Mary Pickford.
Her words talk about how failure should be defined, not as in the mistakes we have made, but in letting them become who we perceive ourselves to be. I’ve always believed that one needs to own their mistakes, learn from them, but never let them own you… This is one of the reasons that I so easily related to the Fifth Principle of Spiritualism, that of Personal Responsibility.
Too many people use their past mistakes to berate themselves thereby inadvertently giving permission to others to treat them poorly, as they feel unworthy of better. So why then do we allow people to disrespect us so…? To be seen as nice, to be popular, to avoid conflict and sometimes, out of fear of the mistakes of our past, of their repercussions, to name just a few.
It’s like we carry around a backpack from which we can retrieve our book of failures whenever we feel like taking a stand or trying something new. We then leaf through to the chapter that will remind us of the “last time” so that we can make ourselves feel less than, once again. We try to hold ourselves to a saintly standard, not allowing for the fact that we are indeed human; we will make errors in judgment, we will make mistakes!
When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally we also learn to accept our perceived shortcomings as part of our life lessons, part of our growth. We learn to become more forgiving of ourselves, which then leads us more easily into forgiving others. As I mentioned in my previous article, forgiveness is not condoning. Forgiveness is simply the act of releasing in order to move on in a more healthy environment.
Hopefully, with each new “falling down” you will find yourself bouncing back up much sooner, with far fewer bruises, ready to tackle the day’s challenges a stronger, wiser person.