Last week's blog was all about the passing of my former husband and how sad my adult children and I felt, especially as I reflected on our 21 year + relationship. It was ten days from the time that he died suddenly until the funeral, which really was a celebration of his life. During that time, as we gathered from our different corners of the US, we all had the opportunity to go through various stages of grief and mourning. It was good to have that time and even though the process isn't entirely over, I felt a certain completeness by the time I put my daughter back on a plane Monday morning.
But sadness was only one of the many feelings I experienced. As the week and more went on, I found myself also reviewing my "mistakes". I would catch myself thinking
about the awkward and awful experience of the actual divorce. That easily led into thoughts of my struggles as a mother and wife and how much I just didn't know and how inadequate I felt. I started cringing inside as I recalled actions of my insecure, reactionary self and even ways that I had "acted out". It's hard to admit, even to myself, some of my embarrassing beliefs and behaviors. A difficult but valuable conversation with my wise, oldest son brought up some more of my self-doubts.
At first, I felt a little overwhelmed as I took on my failures, letting them pile up on top of me, threatening to suffocate me. Fortunately, after years of personal work and mindfulness, I was able to look for a way to see the silver lining. This week's Pleasure Peek, a quote of unknown origin, came to the rescue:
"Don't place your mistakes on your head; their weight
may crush you ... Instead, place them under your feet
and use them as a platform to view your horizons."
It is so easy to let our faults, both real and perceived, get the best of us. As we do this, life feels heavier and heavier until it's unmanageable. We can feel like we'll never get out from under their burden.
If we can find a way, however, to learn something from each event or misguided
decision, we can put that behind or under us. I love the image of creating a platform or podium on which we can stand, knowing we've gained a little more useful knowledge to help us live life in a better way. Every time we improve our perspective and act more kindly and generously, we advance our enlightenment and we can clearly see a more useful direction to take.
I added to the Peek,
"That must be why people think I'm much taller than I really am!"
Sometimes it feels like I've made not only my share of mistakes, but also enough to cover a few dozen other people (you're welcome). I'm standing on quite a hill of blunders and screw-ups! It's not just about good posture. The upside of that is that I've also given (and continue to give) life a good run. I've been on a steep learning curve and it's one I continue to climb. Every misstep I've taken has ultimately been worth it for the knowledge I've gained.
One more important point ... my life has been so much more than just a series of mistakes! I've also had many brilliant moments as a mother, wife, and general citizen of the Universe. It's essential to take an inventory of all the times we've excelled, too. That can only lift us higher. The view is getting pretty good from up here!