Turning Mistakes into Beautiful Masterpieces
That is a great way to look at mistakes.
Here we have a painter, and he's painting a picture. It's looking great, but then it happens. The brush gets too close to the wrong place and ... oops ... suddenly a blotch of paint is in the wrong place.
What does he do?
Well, he could give up. Throw the painting out. That obviously wouldn't fix it. So what about cutting out the bad section of the painting and start over? Or paint over it...?
All of these would do. But they would require covering it up, or changing what was already put down.
Which isn't the best way to do things in life.
What if the painter takes that mistake and turns it into a bird or a wave, or a something beautiful.
That's the other possibility: have mistakes push us along. Like the wind in a ship's sails, they can push us forward, towards goals and dreams and the possibilities.
Take the woman in the book the Scarlet Letter. She did something wrong, she made a mistake. And she was branded by an large letter A so everyone would know. But through her actions, her compassion, and her courage, she turned that letter A from a negative meaning into a positive one. One of love, compassion, and strength.
Here's some suggestions:
- See the beauty of the world around you, even the annoying parts. Sit outside and just listen. Listen to the birds, but also the sound of the traffic. Look at the intricate detail of a flower, but also see the majesty of a rain shower. Watch the clouds, the sunset, and the greatness of them, but also see the work spent by weeds in the garden.
- Write down what bothers you, understand why it does, and come to accept it and see it in a better light. Find out why it is bothering you. Break it down. See it for what it really is, and maybe you will find that what was once bothering you can now come to help push you to where you were trying to go.
- Learn from the past, but leave it behind. Easy? No. One man went to the beach, thought of his past, enjoyed the memories of it, reviewed the mistakes of it, but finally got up, wrote his worries in the sand, and left it behind.
- Prepare for the future, but leave it for tomorrow.
- And most of all, live in this moment. For now is all you have. I won't matter if you have the brains of Einstein or the strength of giants, if you can't live now... when can you live?
So live in this moment. That's why I said to see the beauty around you, to leave the past and the future in their place, and to see things for what they really are. So you can live now.
Once you do that, you will be able to see things as they really are:
- You'll look if there is any other way to view the situation. You'll avoid jumping to conclusions or premature action, as that would not be the "way things are."
- You will see people as they are, and will be able to interact with them as appropriate. No more fighting, running, or manipulating. You'll be sincere because you are you... because you see yourself as who you are.
- You will view the future more clearly. No longer will you be pushed from one idea to another, rushing here and there. You will be able to take a step back see a bigger picture of how things are. You will view the world through clearer eyes and a quieter heart.
- When you make a mistake, you'll be okay with it. You will finally see that the mistake is not you. It's something else outside yourself. Something that you are responsible for, but which cannot get you.
- Your moments will be satisfying. Not because you are "busy" or have "responsibility" but because you will finally see that these moments are the real treasures of our lives. And they usually have to do with those we cherish most. These little things are what build our lives, and make us who we are.
Thus we will take each moment, each success, each mistake, and make it a beautiful part of a greater masterpiece.
Washing them away
Yet, what about those mistakes that really bother us? What do we do about them?
And as far as removing them, that's where the Atonement of Jesus Christ comes into play. Christ walked in our steps and knows what we are going through. It's more than our friend's comforting phrase "I know what you are going through". He really knows because He really walked it. He saw through our eyes, felt what we feel, thought what we think, and understands completely because He went through the exact thing we are individually going through. Yes, individually, he knows our pain, our suffering, our hurt.
And what's more, He knows how we can get out of it. That's the key part! He knows how we can rise above the hurt and pain, and reach our potential. He can get us there, if we let Him.
That is the great thing about repentance:
Repentance is like a blank wall. A point to start over and try again, anew with nothing holding us back.
Such a simple thing, yet like so many other simple things... it's really powerful in what it can do.