I've heard Darin Hufford say many times that he had come to accept his humanness; he had come to accept that he was going to make mistakes. When I heard him say that, I knew I had just been given a major key to freedom.
I tend to be a perfectionist. I like things done right and, of course, that means being done my way. When things don't go as I had hoped, I can often feel my stress level rising. Unfortunately, as we journey through this life, we'll experience many disappointments. Sometimes, the biggest disappointment is in ourselves.
As I've grown older and looked in the mirror, I see a different person than I saw a number of years ago. I have to face the reality that I'll never see some of my dreams come to pass. It might just be the way things are or it might be due to poor decisions I've made in the past. It's a big disappointment to see dreams go unfulfilled but, when it's due to poor decisions on my part, the hurt and disappointment are greater as I'm face with the "what if's". Accepting that I'm far from perfect and that I've made and will continue to make mistakes, sometimes really dumb ones, has been difficult since I like to put up a good front to the world.
Rejection is an emotion that I struggle with and, of course in this world, there are many opportunities to experience rejection. Learning to live free of others' expectations is difficult. While it may seem like an "other focused" trait, in actuality, it's very "self-focused" as I worry about what others are thinking about me. It's all about me . . . me . . . me.
Accepting my humanness has been a major turning point for me. Admitting that I'm human and prone to make mistakes is setting me free from a performance based cycle that is impossible to maintain. No matter how careful I am, I'll still make mistakes. It's a given.
Yet, I'm learning to accept that and, at times, I can even laugh about the silly mistakes I make and then just go on without having to wade through a lot of guilt. If the mistake seems to be major, I'm learning to trust that Father will walk with me through the consequences. I can then choose to not let guilt and condemnation rob me of my peace.
We have a tendency to put high expectations on ourselves and to allow others to also do it. I believe that until we can allow ourselves freedom to make mistakes, we won't grow properly. Part of the growth process involves being willing to step out and explore new territories. Doing this, however, means that we'll often be faced with the unexpected. We won't always know what surprise is lurking around the corner. These unexpected situations may require quick decisions which could result in any number of mistakes . . . some with possibly serious consequences.
My tendency has been to hold back hesitant about moving into new territory, afraid that I might make a mistake and maybe look foolish. For most of my life, fear has been a major part of it. However, as I've journeyed forward into life as a free believer, I've noticed a major change taking place in me. No longer do I want to sit on the sidelines doing only what's safe.
I want to follow Jesus into the new adventure he has planned for each day. More than likely, at some point, it'll be a roller coaster ride with some twists and turns but I'm learning that he's holding on to me so despite my feelings of insecurity, I'm safe. I may make mistakes. Actually, there's no maybe; it's a definite. I will make mistakes but I know that Father will be right there enabling me to walk through the consequences and, in the process, my relationship with him will deepen. As a result, I'll experience a strengthening in our relationship that will hold me steady during the next storm.
Below are some links to related posts that you might find helpful.
Permission to be human
Leaving a Place of Safety and Risking Failure
While writing the post, this song came to mind so I thought I'd add it here.