Acceptance – Dealing With Past Mistakes

March 4, 2015 Acceptance


We have all made mistakes, some are everyday little ones and others were so big you shake your head when you recollect them. Whatever were you thinking of to do such a thing? Do you feel guilty or ashamed about what you have done?

Children, legally and through common sense (which at times is not too common), are not permitted to do certain things such as drink alcohol or drive a motor vehicle. This is because they are immature and inexperienced. When they experiment with things they shouldn’t, and consequently make mistakes, we correct them, but at the same time accept they are young and are bound to do things wrong.

  • What about those who were abused, abandoned and neglected?
  • What about all those who did not have loving, supportive mommies and daddies when they were growing up?
  • Are these people expected to possess the maturity or the lessons learned from positive experiences to behave in a normal manner?

I have been blessed with a fairly high IQ (in the lower end of the genius range, I say modestly) which helps me to grasp and remember things. It did nothing, however,  to prevent me from doing some incredibly stupid things in my life – things I should have felt truly sorry for, but the person I was just didn’t give a damn. I was so locked in to me and mine that I could not see we and ours. I was immature in many ways and totally inexperienced in matters of relating to others.

Like many people, my focus was on building a protective wall around myself to prevent others from hurting me as I had experienced in the past. My world was a lonely, suspicious and angry place.

Can you see why I did hurtful things to others? Can you forgive someone for doing stupid things because they could see no other way of doing what they had done?

Many people see the world the way I did and have little understanding of love, respect or honesty. Given these shortcomings, they get by as best they know how. The blazing mistakes and hurtful things they do are because of what is going on in their heads at the moment they did them. Perhaps moments later they might regret their actions, but at the moment they took action, they were doing the very best they could.

When I was young, I got away with things I should have gone to prison for – things I am not proud of. I now understand that the person I was was doing the best I could at that time. I forgive myself. In doing so, I must accept that everyone else is also doing the best they can at any moment in time. I forgive them as well.

We are still responsible for our actions and should accept the consequences, but we need not live a life of shame. The person I was lives deep in my past and taught me valuable lessons. I am grateful to him.

Take a look at the mistakes and misadventures of your past and reflect on how they still affect the way you live your life. Do you have insecurities haunting you, holding you back? It is time to let them go.

  1. Forgive yourself completely for your past actions.
  2. Choose to live your life unhampered by past regrets.
  3. Choose to accept the actions of your past as things you did when you did not know better.
  4. Choose to keep improving with full knowledge that mistakes are bound to happen but they are not going to prevent you from taking risks and moving on with your life.

When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.

– Hugh White (1773-1840)



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2 responses for Acceptance – Dealing With Past Mistakes

  1. Terrific_T says:

    Haddy, I’m confused.

    If a person does stupid things because they could see no other way of doing what they had done why do they need forgiveness? They were being human and humans are fallible and designed to do ‘dumb’, ‘inappropriate’ things. This does not relieve the person of consequences or responsibility of their actions. Nor does it mean that we shouldn’t strive to act in more appropriate ways. I think the ‘forgiveness’ routine is damaging and hypocritical. If you can forgive, then you can withhold forgiveness, i.e., condemn a person for just being human. Please explain that.

    I do enjoy your insight into the human condition.

    Tim M. P.

    • Happy Haddy says:

      Hi Tim,

      Much of low self-esteem has to do with feelings of guilt and shame. Many people need to accept that we are all capable of doing dumb things under certain circumstances and therefore should forgive ourselves. In regard to forgiving others, it means that we do not have to carry resentments against them for what they did. Perhaps they are not evolved enough to understand honesty, respect for others and empathy. They are like children so rather than harbouring bad feelings against them, forgive them and move on.


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