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How Many Times Do We Pay For One Mistake?

November 15, 2011

“How many times do we pay for one mistake? The answer is thousands of times. The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. The rest of the animals pay once for every mistake. But not us. We have a powerful memory. We make a mistake, we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty, and we punish ourselves. If justice exists, then that was enough; we don’t need to do it again. But every time we remember, we judge ourselves again, we are guilty again, and we punish ourselves again, and again, and again. If we have a wife or a husband he or she also reminds us of the mistake, so we can judge ourselves again, punish ourselves again, and find ourselves guilty again. Is this fair?”

How many times so we make our spouse, our children, or our parents pay for the same mistake? Every time we remember the mistake, we blame them again and send them all the emotional poison we feel at the injustice, and then we make them pay again for the same mistake. Is that justice?

– Don Miguel Ruiz

How many times do we pay for one mistake? Thousands of times.

Is it fair? No.

Is that justice? No.

How do we break the cycle? Not sure. Forgiveness would be a good start though.

Forgiveness and letting go. We tend to live in the past or at least relive it on a regular basis. Our thoughts go back, always to the same things, stories we tell ourselves over and over again, sometimes we try to imagine a different outcome, or we try to pin-point where things went wrong, or the chances we missed, but unless there’s anything we can do about it all. Unless that particular reoccurring thought is something we can change in the here and now, then the best thing to do is take action.

It’s not always easy, but we can try to forgive ourselves and others by changing those negative thought patterns into something positive.

I’ve been reading a lot about Radical Self-Love lately (a good place to start is Gala Darling) and I think it’s about time we all give compassion, love, and forgiveness a try. In other words: don’t drink the poison.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2011 10:49 pm

    Timely and perfect. Thank you! This is the first I’m hearing of Gala Darling, so will definitely check this radical self-love thing out. Hope this finds you well!

  2. November 15, 2011 11:12 pm

    She’s pretty amazing. A force to be reckoned with.

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