There is nothing new under the sun. Other than my own life experience, the conclusions of truths I find, have been found before. Learn from my mistakes, grow from my failures. Avoid near occasion of sin. Know myself. Each truth becomes a deep reality in my soul as I personally experience its lesson, and it amazes me how in my eureka moments I'm convinced to be the original author. That is the beautiful and baffling thing about truth. It's unchanging, sacred nature. I am the way, the truth, and the life. He is truth. And if I want Him to permeate my life, I need to let His truths.
After some pretty horrible, embarrassing experiences this past week, I have been thinking a lot about what I could have changed in the particular situations. How could I have reacted more Christian-like? How can I learn from my behavior, whether or not it was the cause, and improve in the future? How can I tame my temper? How can I treat those closest to me with more love and respect? In my blessed time of prayer and reflection I was led to deeper thoughts of retracing the roots of, what I believe to be, my mistakes in these situations. I've heard how our individual frequent temptations are tied to our individual temperaments primary inclinations of sin...How much was I blinded by my pride in the situation? How much was my vain concern of other's opinions affecting my behavior?
Reflecting on our mistakes, whether it was adding too much of a wrong ingredient, or in my case failing to meal plan for years ;), speaking too soon, staying too long, or on a larger scale of mistakenly not being sober and alert against our adversary the devil, and allowing ourselves to fall into the same pits of sin, is extremely fruitful. Just like our progression in the kitchen, from burnt to delicious food, the progression of our Christian journey towards heaven requires us to look at what ingredient, or situation or behavior, we mistook. We tell our kids about the great hero's who have tried, tried...because we know this truth. They learned from their mistakes and went back in with a plan. Because failing to plan, will likely lead to a plan to fail. I can conquer clogged ducts, naptime, and self-care when I learn from my own mistakes. I can move toward sainthood when I do the same. And in the midst of our Church's scandal while we wait for saints and ask, What Can I Do?, it's a wise place to start.
Like I said, I have nothing new here, it's a time tested truth to reflect and repent of our sins...and Saint Ignatius may have a little more lead in recommending a daily examine of conscience ;) But for me, right now, this week, having the writing on my hand was step 1. I am so imperfect, but this has been a successful practice worth sharing. I like thinking as the kids begin the new school year in hope of success, we can begin our own new start. What are you going to do different this year? How have you learned from your mistakes? Just asking the question is empowering.
Are you holding tightly onto your mistakes? Do past mistakes fill you with bitterness? Or are you avoiding to reflect at all? Take take in prayer and try writing them down. Putting to thought & paper help to learn from them. Then for healthy dose of self-esteem think of the mistakes you have already overcome - mastering the work protocol, handling newborn cries, kitchen wins, in-law battles...whatever it was...now whatever it is...Don't give up. Don't despair. And never forget, despite our best or worst efforts, our greatest and smallest mistakes, the truth is, His mercies are new every morning.