Life is a series of experiences. Some of them are memorable. And some best left forgotten. But these are experiences that shape who we are. And the most important thing is – we have to learn from these experiences.
Hence I don’t like using the word ‘mistakes’. The word ‘mistakes’ has a negative connotation. It also implies stupidity and irresponsibility. However every experience that you’ve entered into usually involves some active decision on your part. And a lot of times you don’t control the outcomes. So stop blaming yourself for the not-so-ideal experiences and stop beating yourself up over it.
A lot of times, we might also find ourselves in similar situations. It’s because we tend to gravitate towards the familiar. Again these are not mistakes – they are experiences. I believe that people come into our lives for a reason and that stuff happens to us for a reason. It is up to us to figure out what the reasons are.
When my marriage was ending, I was very close to thinking that the marriage was a mistake. I made the mistake of marrying a man who was not good enough for me. I made the mistake of losing myself in my marriage to please my husband. I made the mistake of not spotting the red flags.
After my marriage ended, I got involved in an exclusive and monogamous ‘arrangement’ with this guy. When we were together, we pretended like we were in a relationship. But we also intentionally kept ourselves emotionally distanced from each other. And in the end, I did get hurt when we started to drift apart even though I went into the arrangement fully knowing that it wouldn’t lead to anything.
But were those relationships mistakes? A year and a half out of my marriage, I’m starting to see that my marriage had a reason. My marriage and its ending taught me that a) I must never settle for anything less. If a person doesn’t treat me well enough, I need to face my fears of being alone and walk away from the bad situation; b) I must never again lose myself in a relationship.
The guy that was involved with always told me that I’m not ready for a relationship yet. At that time, I couldn’t really comprehend what he meant. But now I did. The arrangement I had with him was to help me get over the breakup with my husband and my eventual divorce. It was to provide me companionship and to distract me from the heartache. But I wasn’t ready for a real relationship- I needed to work on my own issues when that arrangement ended – and that is to find myself and be comfortable being alone.
Don’t think of your bad situations as mistakes. But owe it to yourself to decipher the reason behind your experiences… and learn from them.