I can tell you taking this picture wasn’t one of my mistakes.
The greatest human trait is making mistakes. As a survivor, I know this all too well. You know it too, as you have survived some of the harder things in life. Mistakes make our lives worth living, though I am sure you doubt the veracity of this statement.
Mistakes make us who we are. When we alter the mistakes, we fundamentally change who we are and assure we are different because of it. When we pine for change, we often forget we lose sight of what makes our existence worthwhile.
Mistakes form our lives more than perfection ever does. Mistakes work in our favor far better than perfection. Mistakes gave us the wisdom to form better decisions and have a greater effect on those around us.
There is a saying from the Manager Tools podcast that I adore. I refer to it often as I trudge through the mistakes I made for the day.
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment
You might not believe mistakes make you the person you are. I have a concept ready to blast this rebellion apart. It is the rage with all the experts in technology. It is feared by the neophytes. Religions hate it.
I refer to Transhumanism.
Before you click away, allow me to explore this a little further. This concept applies to many things survivors struggle in the “grieving process”. They lament the things they might have acquired or done “if only” they had a fair childhood. It also shows us that such thinking is wrong, and is rather limiting if you allow it to consume your life.
Are you sure you made the best mistakes?
This sounds terrible, doesn’t it? There’s nothing I can do to explain it well without sounding like an ass, but I’ll try. I challenge you to think of your mistakes and ponder if they were the best ones in your life.
Was that the best thing to do at the time? Did you have all the information you needed when you made the mistake? Are you beating yourself up because you did your best. Or because you had better information after you made the mistake in the first place?
There are two more axioms I use when I march through my mistakes.
1. I was as informed as I could be in the situation.
2. I look back at my mistakes with a dual filter of perfectionism and ignorance of the situation.
In fact, I dare say the second entry haunts us the most when we think of our mistakes. We filter out everything right about the situation and only focus on the error. We also have the reactive response when we made the attempt. You never knew what would happen. Yet, you hold yourself to an impossible standard to make sure you’ll never make the mistake again.
When you make more mistakes, you will filter them out again and focus on the error. This feeds into a mistake loop you can’t escape. You don’t have to be perfect from your mistakes. You make sure you acknowledge your mistakes. You keep them handy when the situation happens again. You gather information, but you also don’t want it to delay action either.
The biggest mistake we beat ourselves up for is the lack of action. We need to take action and do something, even if it is a mistake. We must push to fail and accept it is a possibility, even if we know there is no way for us to win in the long run.
The act of action is the most important way to battle the mistake fatigue.
Should you do a massive reset of your mistakes?
Would you make a better life without your mistakes? If I gave you the chance to upload yourself into the perfect scenario simulator, do you think it will matter? If you changed those mistakes, would you be “you?”
These questions rattled around in my brain when I watched the end of the game known as SOMA. The game itself is the statement of transhumanism. It is about saving yourself to a computer simulation. The ending was perfect. It was dark and foreboding, and it addressed a big issue facing the movement thus far.
When you load yourself into the computer, you do not take over the awareness inside of the simulation. You are still yourself out in the real world. You still live with real mistakes and real consequences for your actions. The copy of yourself acts with the same information and inputs you do. The copy will grow and react differently because of it being essentially a new being.
Now, if you put your new you in a simulator and altered a traumatic experience in their lives, do you think they’ll be the same “you”? If you alter enough, are you, in fact, creating a new person all together?
This is where the idea of uploading and changing yourself in a simulation treads into creationism. It touches on the concept of “who is our creator”. There are many who believe we are in a simulation ourselves. We’ve been uploaded from another consciousness to experience something new and exciting.
It is the ever spiraling thought that scares us the most. If I am a simulation, and I simulate something inside, then what is to prevent the simulation I exist in to be inside of another simulation? Let’s think of it as Inception, except with real-world existence instead of dreaming.
We’ll sum this up by exploring the ever branching decision web. How every version of you is still alive and active after you’ve made your mistakes.
Your mistakes are alive, even when you made the right choice
There is a version of you that made the right decision walking around your home right now. You can look around all you want. You won’t find them. You can look in the mirror and wonder if it is your reflection, but I assure the other you is probably doing the same thing. They are you; they just made a different choice.
When you moved left, they moved right. When you decided to have two burnt sausages for dinner, they made themselves a fresh salad. When you made the bad purchase, they decided to hold onto the money for something better suited.
It drives us mad there is another version of us walking around. We’ll envision this person being happier or “better” than we are right now. We’ll belly up to the bar and lament to anyone who wants to hear about the tragic tale of woe. We don’t even realize we’re making another bad choice by obsessing over the previous bad choice.
It is a form of mental masturbation. It is worrying about the other you, the “better” you, and what you could do differently from your mistakes. It feels fine for now, but you’ll regret it later.
When we long for what could have been, we refuse to live in the right now. We can’t possibly see how great things are, even after making our mistakes. Instead, we jump into pointing fingers or dumping it on our limited growth persona. This thought process is even worse when you are recovering from sexual abuse.
I listen to people tell me what a gift it is to lament and grieve the things we never had. I cringe when they pass this along to other survivors to encourage them to visualize something they regret never receiving. I feel awful when these very survivors won’t take action to be in the now and accept what happened.
If you want to be better, be present. You must be here and accept your mistakes and flaws. It is the only way you can improve and make things better for you and the ones you love.
Is this the demise of your mistakes?
Thus, we must conclude your mistakes actually make you who you are right now. You can think of the many different ways you can change your fate, but it will never affect you. This current version of you, reading this right now, is stuck where you are.
The goal is to accept this and move on. It is the quiet resignation and realization you can’t keep mourning what you never had in the first place. It is the determination to overcome the mistakes and keep moving with your life.
If you feel the need to mourn, I can understand. I never believe in making someone do what they don’t want to do. This is your journey, and it led you to this blog post today. Maybe reading this blog post was a mistake in itself. Maybe one or two sentences or words will stick in your mind and stay there.
No matter what you do, the first thing you must do is accept yourself for who you are. You must admit the embarrassing mistakes in your life are based off of the best information at the time. You must know there is no way to alter your mistake and get something better. The only way is to make sure the mistake never happens again.
We get so used to clinging onto what we might have earned that we get stuck. We can’t move around it. We cradle a projected perfect life like a stillborn child. We pour our hope into this idea and will it to be different. We want it to live and thrive.
It is time to release the mistakes and the dead idea of what you lost. It is time to forge a new identity while reveling in your mistakes. It is time to be the best you that you can be, right now.
The world deserves so much more from you than being frozen in time.
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SummaryArticle NameWould you change your greatest mistakes and lose everything? AuthorMatthew E. EatonDescriptionThe greatest human trait is making mistakes. As a survivor, I know this too well.