No matter how hard I try I still tend to make mistakes. I get so frustrated with myself for making mistakes that I end up beating myself up over them afterwards. I’m only human, it’s normal for us to make mistakes, that’s how we learn. So, why do I beat myself up over them?
It’s in part because I don’t want to be criticized or scrutinized by others, I don’t want to hurt others, and I don’t want to disappoint others. So, when I mess up and make a mistake I end up beating myself up over it. I expect more from myself.
I fear the repercussions of my actions and words so I’m extra hard on myself when my actions and words aren’t what I intended them to be as a Christian woman. I don’t want my mistakes to be held against me. I have the best of intentions, but like every other human, I am not perfect and I have my less than proud moments. I know I can’t be perfect every moment but I expect perfection from myself.
It may stem from my past experiences. When I’m not perfect, others will see my flaws and hold them against me, worse yet they will use my mistakes to hurt me. It’s a terrible feeling to be held hostage by a fear of making mistakes.
We expect so much of ourselves and others. We have unrealistic expectations not only for ourselves but for others too. We have a difficult time accepting mistakes made by our friends, family, co-workers, employers, neighbors, church leaders, political leaders, and doctors. What we fail to remember is that all these people are human and we have been created to make mistakes so we can learn and improve. Mistakes aren’t supposed to hinder us, belittle us, or destroy us or our spirits.
We don’t even know what perfection looks like because nothing is perfect. We have an idea of what perfection is supposed to look like but it doesn’t even come close to what true perfection really looks like. Only God knows and if we are fortunate enough to live beside Him in heaven one day, then we will see what it looks like finally.
Mistakes aren’t the end all, even though that’s how we treat them. When we or loved ones make a mistake we get annoyed, frustrated, impatient and even angry. Yet another reason why I try not to make mistakes; I don’t want to annoy, frustrate or anger others. That is not how God reacts to our mistakes. He accepts us flaws and all. He forgives us and allows us to make the same mistake a million times if that is how many times it takes us to learn from them. He opens His arms up and holds us close. He never raises His voice with us, never scolds us, never belittles us, never shames us nor does He ever hold our mistakes against us.
I have recently started talking to God about my flaws in hope that He will use my flaws and mistakes to draw me to Him. In the process of drawing me to Him I pray that He transforms my flaws into characteristics that are pleasing to Him. I haven’t learned quite yet that mistakes aren’t weaknesses like I have been instilled my whole life but they’re actually blessings in disguise. My Heavenly Father has shown me forgiveness probably more often than I have deserved. He has never made me feel unimportant or as if I am damaged goods but I still have a stigma about making mistakes.
It’s a learning process for me. I still need to learn that it’s okay to make mistakes. When I make them I need to accept it, process the mistake, learn from it and then let it go! It’s a terrible burden trying to be perfect all of the time. But to agonize about it afterwards when I do make a mistake is pointless and what the devil would want. The devil would want to cause angst where there shouldn’t be any. So I have to learn to let it go and take away the devil’s power and give the power to my all-forgiving God.