I Make MistakesPosted: March 15, 2012
I made two mistakes on my last blog about the Wise Woman Celebration on May 12 in Tustin, CA. Here are my corrections. The place to go to for more information is http://cwwevents.org/ . On March 15 the price goes up to $60. I hate it when I make mistakes but it happens. So all I can say is I’m sorry and move on.
Mistakes don’t just happen. Someone makes them. In this case, I failed to do the research and rushed to print. It was very apparent to anyone who cared and I got more than one comment. I am doing my best to make amends.
Making silly errors like that used to drive me nuts. I still hate sloppy mistakes but it takes more than that to upset me for long. Life is shorter than it used to be and I don’t sweat the small stuff. I learned long ago that I am human and I must learn to love me “as is”. While I know I’m perfect at the level of the Absolute (in God’s eyes) I see plenty of room to improve here on Planet Earth.
I’ve learned to handle the actual mistake as quickly as possible and move on. Step number 10 in the 12 Step Program says, “Continued to take a personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.” I have found great relief in that particular step because it freed me from having to always be right. It is literally exhausting to need to be perfect all the time.
We all learn to defend our egos and some of the ways we try to do that don’t work well. The best defense is to be careful about your work and I wasn’t. My ego took a hit and I could only make it worse by holding on to the mistake longer than I needed to. We can get in a lot of trouble defending our egos. I could try to find someone else to blame and make someone else unhappy. Or I could stop writing the blog and sink into depression, saying, “I made a mistake – I’ll never try again.” We are familiar with those techniques – we see them in our own behavior or others.
Defending the ego by refusing to admit you are wrong is common and doesn’t work well. We all know people who are difficult to live with, work with and have fun with because they couldn’t admit they were wrong about anything. I had a friend who insisted on picking all the restaurants and then defended his choice, even when the service was bad, the food was mediocre and the price was high. He was fun in a lot of ways but not when it came to dining out.
Never being able to admit you made a mistake is a dreadful burden. The worst of it is when you are stuck defending an indefensible position. When Nixon was forced to resign, one devout Republican I knew never talked about politics again. I have known more than one person who avoided marriage after one failed attempt.
Some people seem to think that they owe it to themselves to defend every action and they never admit making a mistakes. What they are really doing is defending their egos by insane or pathetic or belligerent behavior. Warmongers can’t back down. Bullies can’t say they are sorry. Experts can’t see the flaws in their own work. Beauties can’t adjust to the changes of time. Parents can’t correct their children. Teachers can’t see that they have failed when the student fails. And so it goes.
Right now, there is a lot of political jargon flooding the airwaves and one favorite expression the commentators are using the phrase, “double down”. It comes from playing blackjack and means splitting your cards and playing two hands. What that seems to mean in political language is making a preposterous statement more preposterous by defending it. Of course, politicians can never say they were wrong.
I think seeing my mistake, taking responsibility for it, and doing my level best to make amends is the sign of emotional maturity. That’s apparently not a goal of politicians but it is my goal. My guess that it is also your goal. You and I try to live our lives in integrity and harmony. If we double down, it is because we truly believe something. We may eventually change our minds but we don’t try to bluff the law of cause and effect. We know that spiritual laws are inexorable and the mistake will come back to haunt us if we don’t acknowledge it.
There is usually a real cost to a mistake. That cost can always be lessened if the mistake is acknowledged and corrected quickly. Doubling down almost always makes a mistake worse.
So I made the mistake, I’m sorry, and if you contact me quickly, I’ll try to help you not suffer from my error. That is the end of it for me. You can always make a comment on the blog if you have an opinion. But I’m letting it go. I will try to be a bit more careful but chances are good this isn’t the last time. I love you all.
How do I react when I make a mistake?
How quickly do I let go of the mistake?