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Looking back at year 2011 I simply have to admit that it has been a year of mistakes. Some bigger than others, and which have taken longer time to resolve, accept, and make friends with within myself. However, no matter how hard it can be at times to accept one’s failures, looking back at them now thinking: If I had a chance to undo these actions, would I do so? From the perspective of bringing harm to others I definitely feel regret and wish I hadn’t done certain things, but from the side of bringing about certain understanding and internal and personal growth I can see how these mistakes have been tremendously helpful in that progress.
Reflecting on why we do these things in the first place, it seems to me that the answer is pretty down to earth – because we all want to be happy. We all share this fundamental wish but it seems that we continuously engage in what leads to more suffering. However, in making mistakes and acknowledge these actions as mistakes (and by feeling regret) I believe that positive qualities and changes can grow out of them. I think we are less likely to develop more pride and thereby criticizing other people for the mistakes they are making, but, through our own mistakes we can bring about an understanding for the struggles that other people are going through. And instead of pointing a finger toward others, telling them what they’re doing is wrong, we’re more likely to reach out a hand of understanding and compassion.
Not only can we bring understanding and compassion to other people’s situations but we can also practice compassion towards ourselves. Having been able to share my own mistakes and shortcomings with some of my compassionate and big-hearted friends here in Boudha, they have also shared some of their own struggles. I have come to see that when one is willing to open up one’s heart and share with others what is going on in one’s life one will also come to see that one is not alone in these struggles. My hope and wish is that we all should truly aspire to stop talking and pointing out each others mistakes and shortcomings, and instead try to develop our compassion and understanding for one another. If this is something that can come about from an honest view of our own mistakes and willingness to learn from them, I truly believe in the following statement that my teacher always remind me and my fellow Dharma-brothers and sisters of, namely that “Mistakes are the Mother of Success.”
~ Dhonyö from Sweden