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Playful Self-Discipline: Messing it up

It’s easy to feel a sense of gratitude for all the amazing, wonderful things in life.  But life is not always roses and unicorns.  We’re human, and subject to the forces of chance, bad luck and errors in judgement.  We’re going to mess it up at some point.  Can gratitude apply here too?

broken glass

Looking back at my 20s, I can see where I made choices that were less than ideal.  Ok, some of my choices were really stunningly bad.  But I’ve stopped beating myself up over my mistakes.  For one thing, it’s all water under the bridge now.  No amount of self-flagellation will change any of those choices now.  And, perhaps more importantly, making those bad choices was an opportunity for me to learn about myself and the real world by actually LIVING in it.  Living is a pretty messy business, but the things I’ve learned from getting in there and mucking around are some of the most powerful, lasting lessons I’ve learned.

Gratitude can be for the difficult times as well as the sweet.  It is for the days where we struggle and cry and let go of everything we thought we knew.  Like a toddler crying what Dr. Neufeld calls ‘tears of futility’, it is in the challenging times that we learn where our limits are and grow stronger. I can be grateful for that.

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  • yaniv October 14, 2011, 2:29 am

    We travel through life experiences, good and bad, teach us how to overcome the problems, so we are developing, and what happens to us in life we should be grateful that because of them we are who we are today.

  • Rachael October 17, 2011, 6:19 pm

    Gratitude for all I regret? That seems impossible. But I’ve been wallowing a bit in regret these past few days … or weeks … or longer…. Not good.

    • michelle October 17, 2011, 10:59 pm

      I find it easier to be grateful for the mistakes I’ve learned and changed as a result of. Sure, making mistakes really sucks, but I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t had those learning experiences.

      Much harder to reconcile are the mistakes I keep making over and over. Feeling regretful and then doing the same thing AGAIN is really rough. But there will always be more opportunities to do things differently the next time.