The Philippines, being a country with Christian-majority populace, is entering a religious period worldly-known as Holy Week. It [Holy Week] is the annual commemoration of the Passion of Christ. It’s not just another religious tradition. We aren’t celebrating the fact that the Son of God suffered and died, but Christians (particularly Roman Catholics) are recognizing and honoring His sacrifice, accompanying Him spiritually and physically, as if we had been there with Him, two thousand years ago.
In other words, Holy Week is when Christians observe the anniversary of the last days of Jesus’ life on earth: His passion, death, and resurrection. (Source)
For me, Holy Week usually reminds me of the grace of God shown on the cross as atonement for our sins. But, in a way, it likewise has me thinking about regret and guilt — you know, the usual suspects when it comes to feeling shameful about yourself because of your wrongdoings and shortcomings as a person.
During the duration of the celebration, Catholics take the time to somehow atone for their sins, to clean the slate, to clear their conscience, and to generally make things right, while some fast for hours, others even allowed themselves to be nailed on a cross, as payment and punishment for the year’s past misdeeds or sins committed in their lives.
Sad but true, when it’s all over, most people go back to hiding their flawed selves again, burying their shame and wrongdoings as deeply as possible, never to see the light of day until they bring them out again next year for reflection and renewal.
I say atone it AND own it. Not just for one day, nor within the duration of a certain tradition’s celebration, but for LIFE.
SOMETIMES THE WRONG CHOICES BRING US TO THE RIGHT PLACES
Looking back, maybe you did some things in life that you’re not proud of; maybe you made some poor choices or unwise decisions; maybe you did some major screw-ups that sabotaged you or hurt others; maybe you acted impulsively, or didn’t act at all when you should have.
In other words, you screwed up. Join the club, we’ve all been members at one time or another.
But rather than beat yourself up for it, is it possible to accept your screw-ups with respect instead of regret? Is it possible to take your failures and mistakes and see them not as liabilities, but as assets that gave you more character, depth, and soul?
You may have screwed up big time, but you’re not screwed out of luck: the wrong choices you made yesterday could very well be taking you to the right places today.
EMBRACE YOUR PERFECTLY BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTIONS
Instead of letting your screw-ups get the best of you, why not make the best of them? I say embrace your perfectly beautiful imperfections, and make peace with your flaws because chances are, they made you who you are today: someone who’s smarter, wiser, stronger, and more resilient.
This is why screwing up can be beautiful. It gives you incredible gifts of insight and clarity, as well as opportunities to put your guilt and remorse to good use: like making positive changes in your life and staying on the path of right action.
YOUR PAST WAS NEVER A MISTAKE IF YOU LEARNED FROM IT
Screwing up will test you, tease you, torment you, and ultimately teach you things about yourself you never knew. The key is learning the lessons. You never want to waste a perfectly good mishap by not learning from it (nor would you want to ruin one by repeating it).
I’ve had some good doses of screw-ups in my day: I squandered time and opportunities; I either wasn’t thinking, wasn’t aware, or wasn’t paying attention; I missed the boat, took my eye off the ball, and made unforced errors. I wish I could go back in time and do it over, but I can’t. I can only be thankful for the lessons I learned and the wisdom it gave me.
In other words, I screwed up, therefore I am.
Everyday we have a chance to make things right, to repent, to make amends, and to do things differently. And of course, every day we have a chance to practice FORGIVENESS: screwing up’s best friend.
Just remember, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” To actually do this is pretty much awesome.
I’m fairly certain that screwing up makes one a better person. We’re all a work in progress, and the learning process never stops. Trial and error, live and learn, you know the drill. The challenge is to remove judgment and condemnation from your path so you can turn self-loathing into self-loving.