In our best moments in life, we are kind and wonderful people, we are patient and caring and passionate. We can be generous and giving and we can work tirelessly to help others. In our worst moments, however, we can be difficult, impatient, quick to anger, easy to annoy. We come out with forked tongues, clenched fists, we are bitter and ruthless. We are often the cruellest to those closest to us, they see our hideous and monstrous habits, the sides of us which we are the least proud of. We often do not want to admit it, but internally we carry regret for our cruelty, the huge burden of our mistakes.
Many of us live fiercely individualistic lives. The more we spend within our own thoughts, the more that we develop a niche view of the world. More than ever before, we have access to a sphere which we design for ourselves. We can choose to mute those who we disagree with, block the advertisements which anger us. We can choose to ignore people we find difficult. Online, we don’t have to interact with social media, we can simply watch from the sidelines and silently judge- leaving us riled, anonymous, and hopeless.
The less that we interact with the ideas of others, the less that we learn to cope with a diverse and complex world which truly exists. Our isolation and individualism leaves us hollow and socially incapable. We struggle through the most basic of interactions, upsetting others and instantly regretting it. If you’ve ever found yourself in a fiery rage in a petty dinner table conversation then you’ll remember the way that it feels once you walk away. Suddenly empty and painful all at once, cold and lonely. Alone, because you yourself have chosen to be this way.
So, how can we accept our mistakes, and how can we find a way back to being the best of who we are? We should go back to basics. Back to thinking before we speak, back to thinking of others, of the complexities of their lives. But also back to believing that everyone is human, that there is not such disparity as we might feel through the dichotomised internet and the polarisation of the isolated life. We must be gentle with ourselves when we move back into society, but we must be even more gentle with others.
We let go of our mistakes, apologise for them, take real ownership of them- only then we can move on to being the best of ourselves, to remembering the importance of others within our lives. Our lives are full of possibilities. To cling onto mistakes is to forfeit the joy and wonder of possibility. We have this one chance to live a beautiful life, and we must take it.
How will you take the first step in accepting mistakes and moving on?
Featured image: Jakayla Toney via Unsplash