Why You Should Start Seeing Your Mistakes As Mirrors

 / 

, ,
Should Start Seeing Mistakes As Mirrors

Start seeing your mistakes as mirrors “Wisdom comes from making mistakes, having the courage to face them, and make adjustments moving forward based upon the knowledge acquired through those experiences.” ― Ken Poirot

I recently listened to an Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast with writer Tracy McMillan. She said something early in the interview that caused me to pause mid-mascara application and gasp. As Oprah would say, it was an ah-ha moment.

“The relationship that you’re having with another person is the same one that you’re having with yourself.”

In my mind, Tracy then dropped the mic and walked off set. Boom.

This concept that our relationships are a reflection of what’s going on inside us is not new to me. I’ve heard it before. But something about hearing it that morning was different. Call it awareness, as I’m in a very self-reflective phase of life. Or call it mindset, as we only truly hear things when we are ready to. Or maybe just chalk it up to timing, as I embark on the journey of attempting to open my heart to a new man.

Whatever the reason, this statement literally stopped me in my getting ready tracks.

Tracy continued, saying our relationships “mirror back our deepest, most unconscious beliefs about ourselves.”

Related: 10 Signs Of Self-Hatred And How To Overcome

That really got me thinking – what relationship was I having with myself during my tumultuous relationship years? What did I unconsciously believe about myself?

I know after failing at my first attempt at love, I became very guarded, not wanting to feel that pain again. That guard successfully kept everyone at an arm’s length. I so desperately wanted to feel a true connection again, but I just wouldn’t let anyone close enough.

At the time, I didn’t see it that way. I didn’t see that I was the cause of my deep-rooted loneliness. All I saw was he’s just not that into mehe didn’t choose meno one wants me, and several other self-deprecating thoughts.

And so began the emergence of an underlying theme – I’m not good enough; I’m not worthy.

Looking at it through Tracy’s lens, if that was the relationship I was having with myself, it’s no wonder I then attracted my next several relationships… relationships where I apparently wasn’t worthy of being a priority; wasn’t worthy of being the chosen one; wasn’t worthy of being the only one.

I’ve always viewed those years of my life as an aberration – a weird time when for some unknown reason I unexpectedly abandoned my values and lost all integrity. I mean, how could I not think that? Integrity is defined as a “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” Getting involved with a married man is by no means moral. The definition doesn’t allow for many ifs, ands, or buts.

I knew I never maliciously pursued the role of the other woman out of a desire to steal anyone away from their home. That wasn’t me. But I also did nothing to stop it. Maybe I allowed it to happen because I didn’t think I deserved better. Maybe I settled for an unacceptable situation because I wasn’t accepting of myself.

Riddled with shame, guilt, and pain from those years and those decisions, I went back into guarded mode. Only this time the wall was stronger, taller, thicker. So I guess it’s no surprise that my next relationship was with someone equally as emotionally unavailable.

Related: A 5-Step Guide To Escape The Guilt Trap

I dove heart-first into that relationship, gave it my all. Probably too much. Unaware of my own issues, all I saw were his. And I lost myself completely trying to make it work. Abandoned myself. And then he abandoned me.

I let that play on repeat again and again until I finally opened my eyes and saw the pattern. I finally realized it was me. I was attracting men who didn’t know how to love another because I didn’t know how to love myself. I wasn’t the victim. I was the villain.

Before the end of the interview, Tracy dropped one last self-reflection bomb – she said that we unknowingly seek out what we need to heal, and that’s why we can trust our mistakes.

Trust our mistakes. That’s not a common thought. Instead, we often let our mistakes define us. Or at least I did. I stayed in relationships I had no business being in, therefore I was a coward. I let men hurt me and then I went back for more, therefore I was a fool. I knowingly played the role of the other woman, ipso facto I had no integrity.

But maybe, just maybe, we are looking at it the wrong way.

Perhaps what we often view as mistakes are really life’s way of showing us what we need to work on. An opportunity to see and confront our relationship with ourselves. In that regard, are they really mistakes? Or are they necessary evils?

What if our mistakes aren’t meant to define us, but instead to guide us? And true integrity is seeing them for what they really are – lessons.

making mistakes

I unknowingly felt unworthy for a long time. And my relationships during those years clearly reflected that. But maybe it wasn’t an aberration. Maybe it was all part of a larger lesson plan… one that would eventually teach me the crucial key to loving someone else is to first love myself.

Each relationship reflected the deeper issues within me that I had to confront. Each relationship was a layer I had to peel back until I finally got back to me. It was a difficult, uncomfortable, multi-layered lesson that lasted several years with several setbacks, but I had to sit through it to learn it. I had to complete it.

Maybe we are presented with exactly what we need in order to grow. If you’re religious, call it God. If you’re not, call it life. If you’re spiritual, call it the Divine. If you’re a little woo woo like me, call it the Universe. The name doesn’t matter. The concept is the same.

And that concept, however you define it, consistently shows us who we currently are in the reflection of others. It’s on us to take the next step or stay in our current holding pattern.

Related: 8 Steps To Improving Your Self-Esteem

I no longer believe it is the absence of mistakes – the adherence to a code – that determines our integrity, but instead it is the awareness of the direction those mistakes are pointing us in and the courage to go there.

So maybe there is another way to define integrity, one that allows for us to make mistakes and allows for us to be human. One that sees the bigger picture. Maybe integrity can also be seen as a “firm adherence to the lessons life presents us; knowing and trusting that each experience exists to deepen our relationship with ourselves.” We just have to pay attention. 


Written By Kacie Main   
Originally Published On Thought Catalog   
Should Start Seeing Mistakes As Mirrors pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Psychological Freedom: Does Freedom To Choose Cause Anxiety?

Psychological Freedom: Does Freedom To Choose Cause Anxiety?

Having psychological freedom is a very very, important aspect of life. But what is psychological freedom and why is it so important? This article is going to talk about what psychological freedom entails.

KEY POINTS

The freedom to choose brings meaning to our lives and boosts well-being, but it can also generate anxiety.

Sometimes people respond in self-sabotaging ways: trying to control others, blindly accepting suffering, or automatically conforming.

True freedom requires great courage, a kind of leap of faith.

Freedom, as described by the German social psychologist



Up Next

4 Ways To Find Greater Fulfillment In Life

Finding Greater Fulfillment In Life: Ways To Achieve That

Living a fulfilling and purposeful life is one of the most underrated mindsets and skills to have. But what are the best ways you can go about finding fulfillment in life? Let’s find out, shall we?

Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, theologian, and poet is considered by many to be the father of existentialism.

His work focuses on individual experience and the importance of personal choice and commitment, and his philosophy offers insights into living authentically and finding fulfillment amidst the distractions and pressures of the modern world.

In the course of Kierkegaard’s writings, instructive themes emerge for how to navigate life’s complexities with integrity and purpose. Here are four.



Up Next

Pure Soul Meaning: 12 Signs Of A Pure Soul That You Absolutely Need To Know About

Pure Soul Meaning And Signs Of A Person With Pure Soul

Have you ever met someone who is truly and genuinely a good person? Someone who is kind, compassionate, calm, and loves people unconditionally? Then you’ve just met a “pure soul.” But what is pure soul meaning?

People who have a pure soul often possess a certain quality that sets them apart from the rest, captivating us with their genuine kindness and warmth. Their presence seems to illuminate the room and touch the hearts of those around them. But what does it truly mean to have a pure soul? 

Today, we embark on a captivating journey to unravel the depths of its meaning. Join us as we explore the signs and characteristics that define these remarkable beings.

What is a Pure Soul?



Up Next

6 Therapeutic Japanese Words With Deep Meaning

Japanese Words With Deep Meanings That Bring Peace of Mind

Japan has figured out how to bring us tranquility. This country is full of therapeutic Japanese words with deep meanings that will make your soul feel at peace.

Living in a world that moves at the speed of light, it is so easy to get caught up in the chaos. Stress seems to be on every street corner and finding peace and serenity seems to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

These Japanese phrases with deep meaning gently remind us all to just slow down, take a deep breath, and find peace in the present moment. Each word carries its weight when it comes to finding harmony within oneself and achieving an unmatched sense of peace.

So let’s dive into six therapeutic Japanese words with deep meanings that can give you instant tranquility in this hectic world we live in!



Up Next

The Key To Building A Thriving Relationship: Insights From Dr. Stan Tatkin

Maintaining A Thriving Relationship: Important Steps

Ever wondered what it takes to maintain a thriving relationship? Dr. Stan Tatkin has shared some really eye-opening tips that could change the way you think about love and bonding!

In a recent interview, Dr. Stan Tatkin, a renowned marriage and family therapist, researcher, and author of the best selling book In Each Other’s Care, shared invaluable insights on how to create and maintain a thriving relationship.

Dr. Tatkin’s expertise in couples therapy and his psychobiological a



Up Next

8 Signs You Are On The Wrong Path In Life

Signs You Are On The Wrong Path In Life

Life is a very unpredictable thing, with its many twists and turns and unexpected changes, and sometimes we find ourselves walking on the wrong path. It’s like you took a small detour, and suddenly you find yourself on the opposite side of where you were meant to be! In this article, we are going to talk about the signs you are on the wrong path in life.

In our busy and rapidly changing world, it’s important to stay focused, and live a life that aligns with your dreams, aspirations, and goals.

So, if you relate to these eight signs you are on the wrong path in life, then don’t worry, because once you understa



Up Next

What To Say When Someone Dies — And 7 Things Not To Say

What To Say When Someone Dies? Best And Worst Things

Death is hard. Finding the right words to say when someone’s hurting can be even harder. Wondering what to say when someone dies? Below are some do’s and don’ts for you to note down!

“I’m sorry for your loss” is a classic line, but it might not always hit the mark. Sometimes, it can feel like a generic response rather than genuine comfort. There are many other comforting words to say when someone dies. Let’s break it down below.

Related: How To Overcome The Fear Of Losing Someone You Love: 10 Tips