A look at mistakes

From Marsha

Our teacher talked about each of us believing we’ve made mistakes.  He often asked if we ever thought we made a mistake. Of course we all can look back and be totally convinced that we made mistakes in our past.

He was talking about those decisions where everything seemed to go awry—things that didn’t turn out like we thought they should.   He mentioned that if we had done ANYTHING different, we couldn’t know what the outcome would have been—we might have found a million dollars or we could have become a basket case.  That certainly made it easier for me to not make it important when I turned on a wrong street and was late.  Now I just look at it as though if I had been on the right street, I might have been in an accident—and there have been times when I was late and came upon an accident that I might very well have been involved in.  Below is another way to look at what we call “mistakes” from John.

This morning following my usual routine I worked on the newspaper crossword as I sipped my morning coffee. Saturday morning’s puzzle is the most difficult of the weekday puzzles. I do the puzzles in pen and have an aim to complete them without any “mistakes.” The aim is really a goal when I discover I’ve made an incorrect entry. The crossword puzzle is a game and like all games is given by Life that we might learn. When I think I’ve seen something from the teaching doing the crossword I write it in the margin of the paper. This morning I wrote “mistakes=human.”

Like I do with most things I see regarding my conditioning, I do a search of your site. The key word I used this morning was “mistake.” From the “Place of Language” I found,

“Mistake – An act which one thinks was not to one’s advantage but which can never be proven as such; an illusion.”

I was reminded of an incident yesterday of forgetting how to respond to my bridge partner’s bid (we use a very complicated bidding system) which resulted in us not getting to game which everyone else in the room bid but they all failed to make and with my “mistaken” bid we had a top board! My mistake wasn’t a mistake at all!

I had taken out the ball peen hammer and was beating myself over the head about my mistake. Even when my mistake turned out to have a silver lining, a number 5 Not-I was still whacking my head with the hammer. The self-improver Not-I was watching and reacting. It feeds on “mistakes” and is not easily ignored.

The upshot of all this inquiry is that my “mistake” was playing the crossword and bridge games to gain and escape the 4dbu’s. Shall I give up the crossword and bridge? That would be a reaction. A response might be to contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood whether doing the crossword in solitude or playing bridge in a room full of people. That’ll be a challenge!! I’m playing bridge again today.

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