Atone. Young man feeling regret.

Atone

Whoopsie!!

We all make mistakes. Some of us (probably most of us) have made some doozies in our day. Sometimes we may feel that there’s no way to recover—no way we can move on with our lives.

It’s true that bad stuff happens when we make mistakes; they can have serious consequences. They may result in people getting hurt or being otherwise impacted. When this happens, it can affect the way we feel about ourselves. We may feel guilty or ashamed. We’ve not only harmed the person or people that had to suffer the consequences of our mistakes, we’ve also harmed ourselves.

When we make mistakes, sometimes our knee-jerk reactions are more harmful than helpful. We may try to hide from what we’ve done. We may try to deny that it happened, deny that there were consequences, or deny our complicity. We not only are failing to own up to what we did and the consequences of that action (or inaction), we are also being dishonest. And that dishonesty can become part of who we are, and ultimately add on to our guilt and shame.

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Beginnings. Young woman sitting and looking through window

Beginnings

Have you ever found yourself going down a path that you know isn’t right?

We may feel we’re stuck on that path, that the events that led us here will lead us relentlessly in the same direction.

We may feel that we’ve messed up, or dropped the ball, and that we can’t escape the consequences.

I’ve had several times in my life when I knew (or later realized) that I was on the wrong path—that I had done, or was still doing, something stupid (smoking, staying in unhealthy relationships, making poor choices). But I was shortsighted or pigheaded or oblivious—or a combination of the three.

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Sad girl in bed, backlit scene.

Acceptance

It is what it is.

As we journey through our lives, certain people, events, and conditions will come and go, sometimes when we really don’t want them to. Some of these we will have influence over, and some we won’t.

Some of these things are relatively minor. Catching a cold, having a fender bender, having a game rained out—these are things most of us can roll with without too much agita. But each of us, at some time or another, will also face the big things: divorce, losing a job, death. These things are harder to accept quickly, nor should we try to.

In any case, a better sense of how we handle adversity can take away some of the stress associated with our negative responses to those events, big or small.

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Comfort. Walking a Tight Rope

Comfort

For the most part, humans are creatures of habit – we generally stick to what we are comfortable with. We make a circle of friends, get a job, and engage in a fairly established set of activities. This may be due to a variety of factors, including economic stability and convenience, but it may also be related to a desire to stay in our comfort zones.

There are some who thrive on trying new things, but even they know what they like and will retreat to trusted friends and familiar places when they need comfort.

There are dedicated homebodies and there are those who can talk to anyone and love new experiences. How long can you stay out of your comfort zone?

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Truth. Blocks. Truth among the words

Truth

The truth can be elusive.

Some believe that there are many factors that influence how we interpret what is or isn’t true, including our values, experiences, culture, and condition.

Our truth may not be the same as someone else’s truth. Each of us has our own reality based on what brought us to where we are in our lives and how we see the world.

When the truth of two different people is revealed as different, it can seem as if one or the other person is intentionally obscuring the truth (aka lying). Of course, some people do tend to give truth (even their own truth) a wide berth. So how can we tell if people are misrepresenting what they believe to be true, or if their reality just differs from our reality?

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