I believe in mistakes…

Cashiering is detailed work – there are so many ways to make little (and larger) mistakes.  When I am up, I roll with these mistakes: I make fewer of them because my brain is sharper, but I am also a lot more forgiving of those mistakes that I do make.  When I’m down, I tend to be pretty hard on myself about even little mistakes – and positively cruel to myself about the larger ones.

I thought of a variety of ways to attack this issue in a post, but none of them seem better than the poem I wrote during this same dark time of year about four years ago.  It’s longer than most of my posts, but lots of people have found it meaningful.  I’d welcome your feedback – in a comment or an email (to heymajo@gmail.com).

I BELIEVE IN MISTAKES          (Majo, 1/15/11)

I believe in mistakes
I believe in right and wrong
Good and evil
Sin and redemption
Well I’m sure about sin at least

I believe it’s possible
To make a wrong choice
Take a wrong turn
And to forever lose
All option  for good
That the right road would have held

I believe it’s possible for these wrong choices
To lead you to a wrong life
To become a wrong person
With no chance to get back to
The person you were meant to be

Why am I so imprisoned by this wretched
View of the world?
Why do I cling so to beliefs
About life and about myself
That cause so much suffering?
Why am I so attached to
This harsh god of right and wrong?
Why is this unforgiving code
Carved so deeply and painfully into my heart?

Is it my Libra nature
Constantly balancing and rebalancing the scales
Desperately and hopelessly trying to get things to come out right?
I so often know immediately
That I have taken the wrong path
Committed to the wrong course of action
Ordered the wrong lunch
And am so seldom confident
That I am going the right way

Is it because the good nuns
So patiently and persistently
Drilled original sin into my young consciousness?
Is it my Irish conscience
So hopeless about becoming a genuinely good man?
It believes that carrying
A heavy load of guilt
Is the most reliable way to
Earn God’s mercy.

Is it my western analytical mind
So hooked on separating
On putting things in different buckets
Hooked on the world of either/or?

Is it my human ego
So tiny in the face of
The vast world out there
So lost in fear and alienation?

I would like to say that my belief in mistakes
Is my one true mistake
But I think that would be a mistake
Tortured as this paradigm is
It is my lineage
It unites me with the human species
From which I spring
My suffering is your suffering
Is our suffering
Until we can together
Every one of us
Lay this burden down

You may have gleaned by now
How hard it is to step outside
Of this world of mistakes
Indeed, from our shared starting point,
It is impossible
It is anathema to our human programming
A contradiction in terms
It is a world that can only be visited
When we take a brief vacation
From our normal minds
It’s the payoff from meditation
The addictiveness of drugs
The bottom line of love

In the throes of love
Does our lover or child not seem perfect
Able to do no wrong?
(How ephemeral are these throes of love)
Is it not clear, when we are truly in love
That there can be no mistake
In committing fully to the beloved
No matter how great the cost?

How can I turn this kind of love on myself?
Commit this fully to me?
My path the last few days
Is clearly littered with mistakes
Today I wrote a poem
Who wrote the poem?
Who made the mistakes?
Could I have had this
Without the others?
Did they not get me here?

Maybe my commitment to a me that does
Is the deepest mistake
Steps were taken that led me here, led me there
Led me to this poem
Led me to this room
Led me to you
You get to decide whether for
You this poem is right or wrong
But if you are wise you will maybe not

3 thoughts on “I believe in mistakes…

  1. My dear Anam Cara (soul friend) Majo! This poem is such good fodder for thought – coming from raw honesty about something so universal. I find myself thinking (among many other thoughts, not yet clear) that part of our evolution may be to redefine our relationship to the concept of “mistakes” (rather than throwing it out completely like so many new-agers would like to do). More thoughts later…. Loving you!

    *Warmly, *

    * Mary*

    *”We think we must change to accept ourselves; but in truth, we must accept ourselves before we can change” – anonymous*

    *”We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh*

    Mary Davis, Singer/Songwriter http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davismary LMBT, NC Lic.#1332 http://www.marydavis.massagetherapy.com Mindful Coaching Through Depression http://www.mary-davis.com 828-777-6268


    • Mary – Thanks for this. I like the distinction between guilt and regret. I’m OK with feeling sad when I see that I’ve done something that caused harm to me or others.


  2. Wow! Awesome post Majo!!!! You are my poema laureate! (Poema is Greek for Masterpiece!) How insightful, especially the line, “maybe a commitment to a me that does” that really rocked my soul!!!

    You’ve heard the quote – do or do not, there is no try – Yoda

    Well, my version is there is no do AND no try – there is only DONE.

    TRUE Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with God the Father with his kids – it is a loving relationship with a spiritual being that has only the best intents and desires for your life – it is a relationship made possible by God’s son, our big brother, Jesus Christ – he accomplished salvation for man – by his perfect walk and sacrifice of his life for all mankind, he paid the price for sin and the consequences of sin.

    If you want to lead a spiritual life, you first must focus on this truth:
    There is no “do” anymore – there is only “done” for you. Once you truly believe that, then everything you do will come from a place of peace, love and completeness – you will tap into spiritual power that enables you to be at the right place at the right time, ordering the right lunch, saying the right things, living the right life. It is a moment by moment walk with God – as humans, we fuck it up on a regular basis, but instead of getting upset about it, we can remember that we are his little kids – and little kids fall down and scrape their knees all the time. You are human, and God loves you for that – Psalms 103:14 “He remembereth our frame, he knoweth we are dust”. For God, the throes of love are not ephemeral – he sees us as his kids – and always is in love with us!

    Ephesians 2:4-10 is my mantra for life:

    But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love werewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

    And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS lest any man should boast.

    For we are His workmanship (Poema in Greek – masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Jesus Christ laid down his life for you and me. It was a legal act of substituting his life for yours – you, me, all men – were guilty, and dead in trespasses and sin because of Adam’s fuck up, but Jesus Christ stepped up to the electric chair, guillotine, hangman’s noose – whatever form of execution paints a vivid picture for you, use that one. He said, “I am taking Majo’s(Diane’s, Jim’s – any name you choose) place” I will die for my brother’s crimes(sins). He can go free – he is free to go – the crimes (sins) have been paid for by the substitution of the perfect sacrifice – JC.

    NOW, THERE IS NO “DO” – THERE IS ONLY WHAT HAS BEEN DONE FOR YOU! You have nothing left to prove to God or anyone else – you are perfect and complete in Christ!

    Did you hear me? Majo, you ARE FREE! You do not owe anything to any man. It is not a matter of being a good man or doing good things – you ARE GOOD! When you accepted what JC did on your behalf, you were made righteous, redeemed, justified – just as if you have never sinned. You became a child of God, with holy spirit, eternal life – now your joy and privilege is to live that life in thanks and recognition of that incredible gift.

    For the rest of your life, you get the blessing of living that life – walking with your heavenly Dad and loving and giving and blessing others, not because you owe God anything, but because you are so thankful to him and his son for what was done for you! You were not saved by DOING good works, but you were saved UNTO good works. If you want to live that life of a good man, simply check with your Dad on a daily basis and ask Him “What can I do for you today, Dad? “Who can I help, bless, and love?

    LOVE YOU MAJO!!!!!! You are awesome!!!!


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