So today I leaned another lesson. It is important that you never stop learning, especially when you have made a mistake. It is the only way to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Fortunately, we learn these lessons with every mistake we make, and in many cases they force us to be a better person as a result. I believe that is why people tend to get wiser as they get older… they have simply made more mistakes than us and learned from them.
It is because of past mistakes I can now warn my daughter against touching a hot iron, or going near the oven when it is on, and to remember to look both ways when we cross the street. Each mistake we make keeps us safer and turns us into better people… if we let it. Of course, we can (and often do, particularly when we are young) ignore those lessons, and go on to repeat the same mistakes time and time again. We eventually learn that the outcome is always the same, and that outcome usually isn’t good. So for those reasons, I am always looking for a chance to learn, and a chance to better myself.
An opportunity came up tonight that helped me do that. I was quick to pass judgement on something that I thought was wrong. Well, I say I thought it was wrong, it was definitely wrong, but I failed to look at the whole picture. I usually pride myself on hearing both sides of the story, but sometimes my BPD comes out and I make rash judgements. There is often lots going on in the background of a situation that we don’t know about. When we are faced with one side of a story, all we can do is comment on that side. But we shouldn’t forget there are three sides to every story… ‘yours, mine, and the truth’. When someone is giving a personal account of something, it is always biased. So when we talk about it, it is very easy to get caught up in what we have been told without thinking about the person on the other side- especially when what is being talked about is a pretty serious allegation.
Nevertheless, that conversation eventually yielded some great advice. It reminded me why I love debates so much. You can be passionate about something and still learn lots from someone else’s point of view.
Learning to deal with situations like this is important, and it is also an important reminder that my mental health problems never leave. They can rear their ugly heads at any time. Despite that, however, I was able to see where my opinion was wrong, and I was able to put across my view clearly and concisely. That is a reminder of just how far I have come, and also a reminder of how far I have yet to go. It is promising, however. It gives me hope that one day I will defeat these mental health problems and they will no longer have a hold over my life. I am getting better, I am getting stronger, and I am going to make it.
I may be still learning, but most importantly of all I WANT to learn. I want to be better. I consider myself a good person, who will do anything for others and who will always put others in front of herself. That makes me a good person. However, I am not perfect and I will make mistakes. The same as every single person on the planet. All I can say to you is that I hope you can take the mistakes as an opportunity for improvement, not an excuse for a downward spiral of bad behaviour.
Of course, to learn from a mistake, you first have to own it. This is me owning all of my mistakes. And all of the ones to come. You should try doing the same, it is rather liberating!