Thursday, November 22, 2012

The big lesson on big mistakes


One of my closest friends used to make terrible decisions. We aren't talking matching the wrong blouse with a leopard print skirt kind of bad decisions, I mean decisions that sometimes put her in danger, in trouble and in at least one case, resulting in criminal charges. She was an intelligent woman. She wasn't dumb by any means but yet, incredibly impulsive and essentially a free spirit that maybe, at times, was a bit too free.

However, regardless of her many errors in judgment, people loved her. They were drawn to her warmth, her understanding and most of all, her acceptance.

See the thing about a person who makes a lot of big mistakes is that sometimes they are more accepting of your mistakes. So while I thought that the incident involving her hitting a truck than attempting to outrun it in a high-speed chase was insane (although, admittedly, successful) and her judgment on men was absolutely terrible, I also knew that because she had made some huge mistakes that there was literally nothing that I could've done that she would've judged and let's face it, how many people can you tell your deepest, darkest secret to and feel safe and accepted when doing so? 

Exactly.

The secret is that is why everyone loved her. Nobody wants to feel judged and it's actually quite rare to find people who don't judge us. In fact, I don't even know that I would fall into that category either (although, maybe I was reasonably understanding since I did have a friendship with this woman for most of my adult life....did I mention she once 'borrowed' her brother's roommate's CD.....and you know, failed to tell him?) 

And really, the stories I'm telling on here are the tip of the iceberg. 

The point is that acceptance is key. It's easier said than done. This is something I struggle with daily. Where my friend was known for constantly picking up strays in her travels on the road of life, it really was a testament to her warm personality. She gave everyone a chance. Everyone. It's a lesson I'm still trying to learn.