The Gift of Mistakes
Photo Credit: Guru Kirin Kaur Khalsa
Yes, it is true, we make mistakes. I have made plenty and as my husband often reminds me—it’s alright! In fact, he says I'll probably and we'll probably keep making mistakes. It is part of our experience as spiritual beings in this human form. And who is to say they are actually mistakes anyway? Perhaps, they are not.
When my daughter was four months old, I can still remember seeing her watch me from her perch in a carrier on my husband's chest as he strolled with her in the upper balcony of a theatre. I was on the stage doing sound check for a concert in Mexico City. She insisted on facing out so that she could see everything. Her tiny legs kicked in protest because the speakers were too loud. She was so little and we just all needed to be home! This was my feeling as a mother, but many decisions had been made and there we were—baby, band, and husband in a huge dark theatre. A sensation of guilt seeped into my being—an inky blackness creating tension in my belly that I can easily return to today with just a little prompting. In fact, I dutifully recalled it and built upon it with many more guilt producing experiences and choices during the first few years of my daughter's life. So much so, that something became paralyzed within me—a very important part of me.
In a counseling session with a wise woman, I was reminded that I needed to have fun with my daughter—a perfectly easy thing to do for someone whose heart is not burdened with guilt.
"Lie in the grass, look at the stars, have fun!" she said. At the time, my daughter was six.
Day by day, I found ways to incorporate fun and to relax. Sometimes it would take planning, but most of the time, it would just take allowing. Like the day we jumped on the trampoline together and made up crazy words that caused us to laugh while we bounced. I let myself go and let myself be. Then, I deeply drank in the sight of my daughter laughing. I could feel a light streaming into my heart that reassured me that I was ok, she was ok, we were ok. And more than ok, we were blessed.
Interestingly enough, given the music touring lifestyle that my daughter experienced as a baby, toddler, and young child, she actually developed quite a sense of knowing when she needs her personal space. She knows when she is too tired, knows when she's had enough, and has no qualms about getting herself out of a situation and back into balance. She is amazing at it actually.
A chant that has been helping me a lot lately is this one, by Ardas Bhayee.
It tunes us into the prayer of the soul, the will of the Divine and the workings of Thou. When we relate to Thou, we can learn from our mistakes and see how others learn and grow as well. This is an important function of mistakes. In this way, we can let go and let God—seeing and feeling the brush strokes from the Great Artist guiding us into light.
A Spiritual Workbook for Children & Families
Someone to Watch Over Me is a sweet little gift for connecting with one's inner spirit, for giving voice to one's inner being, and for connecting one's essence with Guardian Protectors or Guides. Simple and inviting enough for children, lucid enough for adults...a precious offering."
Edward Espe Brown, Zen Priest, Author of The Tassajara Bread Book et al