You are not your MISTAKES?


I’ve done a lot of soul – searching lately. Trying to figure out what to do with my life, what I WANT to do vs what I NEED to do.

Trying to forgive myself for the mistakes of my past. Trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong and what I’ve done right and where to go from here. To exile mediocrity. To live passionately. To stop wrecking things when they are good.

People tell me, “You are not your mistakes.” “You have your whole life ahead of you.”

Some days I believe them! I prance around like I am re-born and believe that there is a vast universe out there to explore. No one really cares about my mistakes! I’m ONE person in the ENTIRE GALAXY! WE ARE SPINNING IN SPACE, PEOPLE!

But other days I don’t. How can you NOT be your mistakes? I mean, if you MURDER someone I don’t necessarily feel you should be able to just leave it be and make it NOT part of your identity. You killed someone’s husband or wife or son or daughter. Now, I’ve never done anything like that – but where is the line drawn? Are some people their mistakes and others not? What is the deal-breaker?

Now I’m not talking about in a sense of religion or higher-power. I have my beliefs and you have your own. I’m talking about waking up everyday and being HAPPY about who you are and what you’ve done – and how your past defines you.

Do you believe in the “Take responsibility and then just let it go?” “Move on.” “Life’s too short to dwell.” ??

I’m torn! I’m halfway between the “You’re young, life’s short. SHIT! You could get run over by a bus today and just be gone. Why wouldn’t you LIVE AND FORGIVE” and between the “ROT IN HELL” mentalities.

You are bright and smart and determined and you could be PRESIDENT SOME DAY! (exaggeration). No- you ruin everything! You are a cycle of highs and lows. You are incredible. You’re rotten. You get the point.

What’s your advice? Where is the line drawn? Are you your mistakes? Do they define you just as your successes do? Or are they just actions, a blip, ….?



There are 12 comments

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    I am big on compassionate self forgiveness and taking responsibility. Setting up camp in guilt doesn’t do any good, but there is a lot to be learned from mistakes and taking responsibility for them. I can’t speak for ax murderers because they are wired differently than the average person (although who knows what their karma is about). I think there are some mistakes that take a lot of healing to live with….like driving drunk and killing someone. The internal arguement with the inner critic, the inner child, the inner teenager, the “incredible one,” the”rotten one,” etc is difficult. The way I work with myself and others is to get all the parts talking to each other, with you the adult or your Higher Self being the referee. Find out their needs, what they need to heal, and figure out how to get their needs met in a healthier way. Yes, take responsiblity, learn from the mistakes, compassionately forgive, work on doing things differently so that mistake is not made again (or not as bad next time you make the same mistake), and let it go. I think our success and mistakes do define us in that everything we go through shapes who we are, but to dwell on them…no. Love all those parts from your authentic self place. Let them have voice, but don’t identify with them. Love their pain. Man, I could do a whole post on this subject! You are really special, Renee. Know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee

      Wow, that was so kind, thoughtful, and insightful. You’re an amazing person. It makes sense to accept your mistakes and not to dwell on them, it’s how one learns and grows and moves forward. It’s just definitely harder done than said. I have always been the one to pride myself on my 4.0 GPA, on my concrete plan for life, on my overachiever personality. So now starting from scratch is liberating, but also it’s like rebuilding what I was raised to think and feel. It takes time and patience learning about yourself – something I am in the process of doing with wonderful people like you checking up!

      Have a great day!


  2. 2015chronicles

    There’s a couple of books you should read. The first one is Passages, by Gail Sheehy. When I was your age, I read this book and it helped me tremendously. It helps to know that you are not alone in the way you are feeling at this time in your life. The other book to read is Expectation Hangovers. I recently read this book and did a post about it:

    Hope this helps you. Also, I’m in California and like your coasters you make. Do you have any samples of ones from California. I would like to order some wood crafts from you, been checking out your website for the holidays.

    Shine On

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee

      Anddd of COURSE I have California things! I can custom make anything, so let me know if you have anything specific in mind. In the mean time, I’ll work on putting my California signs and coasters and such up so you and any other west-coasters can check them out! Thanks so much for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee

      That’s nice to know at least. That’s what I love about blogging. Total strangers can open up about things, non-judgmentally, and you can feel not as alone! Life’s fudging confusing sometimes haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. RunBikeThrow

    Perhaps people should be saying instead, “You are not ONLY your mistakes.” Of course they’re part of you – otherwise you wouldn’t be HUMAN. When you look back 20 years or more from now, I’ll bet it will be from a much better place, and you’ll be able to appreciate what this time did for you. Good luck and keep on chuggin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anjali Chudasama

    Well, I can only look at my life and infer from some other people that I know and have read about. You LEARN from your mistakes. You are not them. Success never taught me anything, nice to have. However, my mistakes and failures taught me to be a strong, humble and a wonderful human being. I am so much more grounded and know with every fiber of my being what will work for me. You have to figure out your own protocols because you are unique and have had different experiences, upbringing and other factors. What works for one person is not a one size fits all solution. So explore, fall, succeed, rise, make mistakes, grow, learn and reflect. There are no rules in life. It is truly about enjoying the roller coaster ride because the destination is the same for all. My two cents…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee

      That’s amazing. It’s insane, because I can tell myself those things everyday. I tell myself to learn, grown, move on, cherish them – for your mistakes ARE part of what makes you unique and they allow you to see your strength when you conquer them. It’s just so much ‘better’ hearing it from someone else.. like it’s a ‘blessing’ to be okay with yourself. Not that you should seek approval from others, just – it feels different than trying to convince yourself. Thank you for your kind words and wisdom. Have a great day!


  5. Adam

    Don’t you wish the answers to your questions were easy? It’d be easier if everything were black and white. When I say easy, I mean manageable. I think the biggest thing is to learn from both your mistakes and your accomplishments. Learning will set you apart. Learning from what goes well allows you to build on it. Say you’re fearful of stepping out and trying something new (example: your woodworking business). By stepping out building, marketing and selling items you find the market rewarding you for your effort, you gain traction and overcome fears that may have previously limited you. Learn from success. Even the smallest success as you can build atop of each. What skills, knowledge or character did you employ that aided in your success? How can you continue to build into those things to find even greater positive momentum?

    Same with mistakes. Learn. Look back and evaluate where things went awry. What can you learn? What can you do differently? What skills, knowledge or character traits do you need to develop so as not to repeat that mistake?

    We are our mistakes when we don’t learn from them. That doesn’t mean we must learn everything from them to get it right, but that in iterations we are able to improve our approach and hopefully our outcomes. And I think we get stubbornly stuck in success when we quit learning and think we have the answers.


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