I have been making a lot of stupid mistakes lately. A lot. None of them are life-changing or earth-shattering, just absent minded kinds of mistakes.
After much practice listening to my inner Divine voice, sometimes my “world voice”, as I call it, still comes out. This voice, which some call the inner critic, is louder, so it’s easier to hear at times, and it likes to remind me how I am failing. “What is wrong with you?!?” it asked me after the fourteenth mistake, “You are a mess! How are you going to run a business like this?!?”
This voice dominated for a few days, until I got quiet. Only then could my inner Divine voice, who is much gentler, be heard.
My quieter voice had a compassionate approach to my mistakes. Softly it asked, “What’s going on?” At that point I wasn’t afraid to go a little deeper to look for that answer.
This gentle voice reminded me that I’ve had major transitions in my life lately and that I am a little distracted. I am not a mess. There is nothing wrong with me. I just need to be more present in each moment. That is manageable. That is something I can work on. It would be much more daunting if I thought I had to clean up a mess.
Years ago I had a college professor who was my student teaching supervisor. You know how intimidating it is when someone comes to observe you? It wasn’t with him. He was this gentle soul who would sit in the back of the class to observe. Then when he talked to me about the lesson I just completed, he would say the most kind and thoughtful words about it, and I would leave our encounter feeling so encouraged. It would be hours after our discussion before I realized he had actually told me how to do the lesson better the next time without causing me to feel that anything was wrong with the lesson this time.
That’s what my inner soft voice sounds like. This voice says, “You are OK exactly the way you are now…and here’s how you can do better.” And somehow there is no contradiction in those two statements.
My mistakes do have something to say to me, but not to show me where I am failing or to panic me about my future. If I listen to that quiet voice, I will hear the message.
If you catch yourself making many careless mistakes or maybe even big ones, I pray you will consult your quiet voice for answers. Maybe you are taking on more than your share of responsibilities. Maybe you are doing something that is not attuned with your spirit. Maybe you are forgetting to stop and take a deep breath once in awhile. Maybe you are struggling with grief or anxiety and it’s time to reach out for help. Or maybe you just need to be reminded that you are human and you do make mistakes.
Whatever the reason, I know you are OK exactly the way you are now…and there is always room for growth and improvement in your life. That doesn’t have to be a contradiction.