Being Human Means Making Mistakes

I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences... I'm human, not perfect, like anybody else.
Queen Latifah
Human beings go through many stages of development and each of us takes time to learn the important lessons we need to have in order to reach the next level.  When we are 3 we become aware of ourselves and are learning that behavior has consequences.  In order to figure out their place in the world and how things work, children may test their parents by refusing to do something, or making up lies.  This does not make them bad, just normal.

When we are an adolescent we want to be independent from our parents and close to our friends.  As a young person we see time as unlimited and we can be more focused on our own needs than those around us.  You may feel defined in your adult life by choices you made at this time of your life.  However, this is also just a stage of development and feeling bad about yourself because of the stupid things you did doesn’t do anything to change what happened, and only becomes a burden to carry around in your adult life.

We make lots of decisions during these stages.  When we move through a stage and learn from our mistakes and hopefully we try not to make the same bad decisions again.  As I grew up and moved through each decade of my life, I kept expecting to stop making mistakes.  I figured I’d get to a point where I’d learned all my lessons and now could avoid making bad decisions.  I would reach perfection.  Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

If a person holds on to each bad choice as a mark against them, then the regret, shame, and guilt can get overwhelming.  However, if we look at mistakes as a natural part of the learning experience, then we can truly learn from them instead of just feeling bad about decisions that led to consequences we didn’t like.  Making bad decisions and having mistakes in your life does not make you a bad person, it makes you human.