MISTAKES ARE FOR LEARNING
One sign of an alcoholic’s immaturity is revealed in responses to personal mistakes. We take each simple mistake as further proof of our inadequacy. As one person observed, “I can handle a general catastrophe, but running my nylons can ruin my day.”
Some of us may feel we’re victims of past conditioning – a parent, for example, who berated us when the slightest thing went wrong. But we’re at fault if we continue to let ourselves be victimized by such experience. We should give no person – past, present, or future – the right to set the level of our self-esteem.
Properly viewed, all mistakes are for learning purposes. We often have to make a few mistakes before we can learn anything. Sometimes a mistake can occur simply to teach us one basic lesson – that we are human and cannot be perfect in everything we do.
Above, all, we should never condemn ourselves for the countless mistakes that occurred while we were drinking. Our alcoholism, a terrible mistake in the sight of many, led to the deep learning we find in AA. Nothing that brings us this far can really be a mistake in the sight of God.
In sobriety, I’m learning tolerate the shortcomings and mistakes of others. I will extend the same grace to myself today if I make a simple mistake.
© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.
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