There are so many quotes about making mistakes, most alluding to the fact that the best and hardest lessons are learned from our mistakes. In fact, I know for myself, the lessons that have stuck with me the most are the ones I learned the hard way. Through mistakes. Or poor choices. Or lack of information.
There are those who love me so much that they wish to protect me from making mistakes. “Learn from my mistakes” they say. Don’t do what I did. And I understand that love. I would love to protect my children from all bad things. I would love for them to never feel pain, sorrow or regret, especially when I see, as an onlooker, that the pain, sorrow, regret, could have been avoided.
But then would they grow? Would they learn? If I never let go of the reins long enough to let my children fall, will they become who they were meant to be?
I come from a long line of worriers. And this worry drives my family to overprotect. Even control. And I have resisted this control. I have been called a rebel without a cause, the black sheep, because I wish to break free from this control.
In my weak moments, I rationalize the control and worry. They just love me, they want what’s best for me, I should listen to them. I should play it safe. They are right and I am wrong.
In my strong moments, I make my own decisions, live my own life, listen to the beat of my own drum. And yes, sometimes I make mistakes. But I assess and consider, and reconsider. And believe it or not, I can be trusted to learn from my mistakes. I can be trusted to make decisions that are right for me.
So I appreciate the love, the worry and the concern. I appreciate that there are people in my life who have gone before me, who know things that I do not know and who wish to keep me safe, but that is not how I will learn, and it is not how I will come to fully live. So let go of the reins, keep me in your prayers, but not under your thumb, and let me learn for myself…even, and maybe especially, if it’s the hard way.