Then I Heard a Loud CRUNCH! – Feeling bad doesn’t make it better

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Do you ever get mad at yourself for making a mistake?

Here’s a mistake that I’m reminded of every time I look at my Sienna minivan…

A few years so, I was backing out of a parking spot in an indoor ramp when I heard my husband yell something from the passenger seat. Too late! A moment later, I heard a loud CRUNCH! #$!%!! I had caught the edge of one of the parking ramp pillars with the driver’s side door. Sure enough, there was a nice set of scratches and a dent in the door. Tina, you idiot! How could you be so stupid?!

After a minute or two of beating myself up and feeling awful, I gently reminded myself that accidents happen. Feeling bad wasn’t going to make it better.

Instead, I looked for possible lessons.

  1. Self-forgiveness. Getting mad at myself won’t change what happened. I can beat myself up for hours or days, but it doesn’t accomplish anything except make me feel bad. Instead, it’s rich material to practice self-forgiveness and to give myself permission to be human.
  2. What would I do differently next time to avoid a similar mistake? Well, I would try not to park next to a cement pillar. And if I have no choice, I would be even more diligent in checking my mirrors.
  3. Keeps me humble. So the next time someone else makes a mistake, I can have a little more compassion and forgiveness for them. This is my favorite! 

What other lessons can you think of?

A  few days later, my husband was backing out of our garage. When he came inside, he was mad. “I can’t believe I hit the mirror on the edge of the garage door! #$!%!!”

Hmmmm. What can I say to him? See #3 above. “I know how you feel!”

I hope you don’t make any mistakes this week. But if you do or if you catch someone else making one, give the lessons above a try.

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