“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ― Mahatma GandhiA couple of weeks ago I attended my 40th high school reunion from my alma mater Owego Free Academy in the town of Owego, NY. Going to these reunions periodically have been difficult when I have hooked into any number of disempowering contexts and internal monologues about that time in my life. This year I really wanted to go. There was something shifting in my life that had something occur to me...this is where the seeds to how I think and be. So what a gift to have the chance to connect again.
For the reunion I took on the social media side of inviting people. It was fabulous to start to plant the possibility of seeing one another again. Who would come? What great adventures will everyone have gone through? Who are we all now? I saw the opportunity to not only embrace the angst of our teens but feel to excitement of learning about these incredible people who part of my life journey.
At our dinner, I received this eraser as a fun gift for supporting the invitations on the social media side. Oh how I laughed! So perfect for a women who use to think she was a big mistake who landed on this planet. Times certainly have changed!! Now I live for walking through the mistakes in my life with dignity and grace and forgiveness not only of others, but for myself too! I placed it on my sacred altar when I got home as a reminder, the past is the past and does not need to take hold of the present. It also does not need to shape the future!
This small token of love and appreciation has become a touchstone I can look at and smile. I have noticed how much not only I, but many people hate making mistakes and failure feels like death. One of the beauties of creating our own unique selves is we can let go of our mistakes, assess the gaps that created them showing up, incorporate the lessons and move forward. Letting go is like using a big eraser and I get to start over and reinvent whatever I am up to.
As an artist, erasers were and still are my best friend. The stroke of the pencil or pen can be erased away no matter what. So the canvas or piece of paper can always be blank or able to be recrafted. Gesso over the canvas of paint creates a new surface to begin again. An yet, we hold our mistakes in life like they can never be attempted ever again. Oh how I wished I had had this wisdom, this knowledge of starting over as being unlimited in my youth.
So where do you not allow yourself to start over? What are you holding on to that you are unwilling to let go of so you can begin again? What is in the way of letting in the unlimited wisdoms waiting for you.
For me, this blog is an interesting place to start over and over again. Saying something new. Getting back in the game of writing. A chance to continue to play with life and the boundless opportunities we can create for not only ourselves, but the contribution we are to others when we breakthrough an area we feel we always fail in.
The reunion and this gift will be a reminder to me. The dialogues with people were rich, fun, at times outrageously funny and humbling. The stories showed how much we all have grown and love our small town. I left with a wisdom I shall now hold forever...that through dialogue and a stand of love and compassion for all people, life can be a fresh canvas to continue to invent our lives with over and over and over again. It merely takes courage and the capacity to start saying something new about one's past.
How can you speak something that you have failed at newly? How can you begin to share your life in a way that empowers you and those you love?
Have fun with this! Make as many mistakes as you can. Clean up when you need to and when you are clear it is warranted. And by all means....when someone else makes a mistake, hand them and eraser to start over too.
Blessings to all! And to all of my classmates.....thank you for the gift you are to me and one another.