You are More than Your Mistakes

Sometimes, I’ll get an idea in my head and I just can’t shake it. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the tendency of humans to view each other differently once we’ve been hurt by each other or once we’ve made a big mistake.

More friendships than I’d like to admit have come to an end because I did something or they did something that was “unforgivable.” As if we were just “playing at being friends” prior to that, and once the “real person” started coming out – we realized we didn’t really want to be friends afterall.

“Oh! That’s who you are…”

The thing is – we all have things to work on. We’re all broken. We’re all going to cause messes. We all need help.

But… we are more than just our mistakes, because we also have something unique to offer each other and the world.

We can offer help in times when no one else notices you struggle. We can be the words that help you pull yourself back together. We can share laughter and good times. We can make an ordinary time into something extraordinary.

We’re both parts. WHOLE PEOPLE.

Are you seeing people as their mistakes?

A friend of mine has a twin brother that got into some trouble with drugs and stealing. He’s still in high school; and since this has happened, all of his peers look at him differently. They’re making him into his brother’s mistake.

Not to mention, they view his BROTHER differently since this happened. You see, they knew his brother before he got into trouble. They even liked him, but it’s like they’ve forgotten all of that. This MISTAKE has come into the forefront. The mistake must be who he really is… They define his brother by his actions in that one moment and wipe away every moment in the past when his brother was good and true.

We wipe away the record all the time.

In fact, the brother (that didn’t cause the trouble) said he hates when his brother’s actions are displayed onto him. It’s his brother that deserves all of this, not him.

I asked him if he wasn’t doing the same thing to his brother.

Does he not have a lifetime of memories with his brother? Shouldn’t he be the one that assures his brother that he hasn’t forgotten. That he knows more of him than this one mistake?

We need to be reminded that we are more than just our mistakes.

If you love someone… If you’ve decided to be someone’s friend… don’t forget the good times when they slip up. Don’t make them into “their mistake.”

Let’s say someone is 70% good and 30% bad. Some where along the road,  you decide you really like that good 70% and you befriend them. You have fun for months and months laughing and playing with the 70% that usually shows up. Meanwhile, they try not to let you see the 30% they’re ashamed of. They work so hard to only be a PART of who they are and they try to SEPARATE themselves.

Acceptable and unacceptable. Loveable and unloveable. Wanted and unwanted.

The problem is – it won’t work. You can’t have 70% of a person because we can’t remove part of ourselves, no matter how hard we try. We’re always 100%.

What can you have?

Here’s the deal. You can have the 70% you like as long as you’re willing to also take the 30% that’s difficult, too. You want the good stuff? You have to be ready to take the bad as well.

We’re whole people. Stop accepting people for only a part of who they are. Stop expecting them to never let you down. Stop expecting perfection as a stipulation for your attention and time.

We’re going to let each other down. We’re not perfect.

We’re whole people. And, if we’re pretending like we’ve got it together, we don’t. Trust me, it’s going to come out eventually because it’s exhausting to keep up that act.

Let’s remember the good times and help each other through the bad. Let’s be consistent.  People need to know that they can be loved and accepted for ALL of who they are and do.

This is our task and practice makes perfect.

One thought on “You are More than Your Mistakes

  1. Such a great post and so true. Made me think of something Paul wrote to me in a letter when he was going through some rough times with his family — it’s one of my favorite things that he’s ever written …
    “Everyone makes mistakes.
    Choosing love means you must forgive.
    Families don’t exist, only complex tangles of love and trust.
    Judgement is easy, easier than love.
    Most importantly is probably that when you love someone and they fall and they want to get back up and try again, you let them and you choose them.”
    Love you and thanks for sharing this post :)

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