“Your best teacher is your last mistake’    Unknown

I sought this quote out today on my own behalf. I had a phone conversation with a dear friend yesterday morning and we were excitedly discussing a topic we share mutual passion about. After we got off the phone I was suddenly and painfully aware that a comment I had made mid-discussion was incredibly selfish… not in an overt way, but the viewpoint I was expressing was very self serving. Aaaargh!

Immediately a bigger picture came into view and I could see the universe had been setting the stage for my lesson all week.

Lesson enters: Stage Right.

On Monday during a client session, one of the themes we discussed was insensitivity, and how even when we don’t mean to be, we can say or do things that hindsight shows us are hurtful. When I expressed that we are each born with proficiency for this very thing, my client commented that surely I was too ‘aware’ to stumble into this pothole very often. I kicked that little pedestal to the curb immediately and assured her that yours truly is all too capable.

Yesterday morning an article about the actress Gabrielle Union caught my eye. She was describing her independence and sense of separate worth from her husband (professional athlete Dwayne Wade) She was quoted with saying this, ” I have my own wagon, and my own star.” I loved reading that and completely agree that we all have our own wagon and star.

Lesson enters: Stage Left

It could not have been more than 10 minutes after reading that article that I expertly guided my size 6 foot deep into my larynx…. and the offending sentence was precisely ME HITCHING SOMEONE ELSE’S STAR TO MY OWN WAGON. Aaaaargh again!!

All Aaaaargh’ing aside, there was only one thing to do, and I promptly did it. I apologized, took responsibility for my own lack of tact, and made a promise to myself to be more mindful of my tendency to self-serve at another’s expense. Discretion is the key; self-serving is fine, as long as it does not cause harm to or diminish another.

Keep a close eye on your self-service tactics, and when you find that they do not align with the greater good pull back hard on the reins and choose another route. The best thing to do after a mistake is to self-correct…. and the sooner we can get back on the right path, the smoother our journey will be.

I got off easy this time. When I made my amends my friend was lovely and denied that any offense was taken…so this friendship that I treasure continues to amble forward…. she in her wagon…. and me ALONE, in mine.