I asked God to speak to me and the universe has answered.

On Thursday  I went to a nearby shopping centre to get lunch and almost bought a  little yellow notebook with “Make Mistakes” printed on the cover. It was in a display with other brightly coloured notebooks with inspirational words printed in gold letters.

Mistakes, or making bad mistakes, is one of the issues that has been with me from the very start of my inward journey.

I remember attending a 6 week class called “Raising Self Esteem” when I was 21. One evening the instructor casually mentioned to another participant that it was OK to make mistakes and everyone makes them. My mouth dropped open .”What??? Mistakes are bad. You must avoid making them.” And in my mind I also thought that you must be punished for making mistakes, too.

My family had the attitude that mistakes are bad and if you were found to make a mistake, watch out for the blame, guilt and shame that would follow. As a child I internalised this attitude to mistakes.

Even now there are a few members of my family that will lie, threaten or show anger at having any mistake pointed out. These are also the same people who spend time bitching about others and pointing out any mistake anyone should make.

To hear that it was OK to make mistakes really challenged me and my beliefs. Intellectually I came to believe mistakes were OK, but I would still punish myself for even the smallest mistake. This has been something I have learned and learned again on my road to greater self knowledge. It is definitely one of the lessons I came to this life to learn and learn again at a deeper and deeper level.

On Friday night, leaving work, I was exhausted from a busy week with work colleagues away. I have also been challenged by something incredibly annoying that was not coming undone and showing me some deep healing from long ago.

In my car after work, I was thinking about the week, thinking about the little notebook saying “Make Mistakes,” feeling tired. I changed lanes and heard a honk of a horn and a car moving at my side. I had changed lanes without checking my blind spot and almost side swiped another car.

Shaken, I pulled over up the street. I didn’t notice the car stopped behind me, but the other driver got out and came over to my window.

I started with “I’m so sorry. I made a mistake.” This may have disarmed the other driver who changed his expression and told me to learn how to change lanes and now he had take away food on the floor. I apologised again, wound up my window and started my car.

I felt terrible. All those ways I would punish myself for making a mistake came back.

I didn’t do it on purpose. It was a moment of lapsed concentration. People have them all the time. I was still angry with myself, thinking that I should have done more to avoid it.

I also noted that many times in the stress of the week, I had asked God to guide me. Just before I had changed lanes in my car I was thinking of the little notebook with “Make Mistakes” on the cover. I felt like the universe was perhaps giving me a very practical lesson. Not necessarily the one I wanted, but the one I needed.

I still felt bad on Friday night so I repeated the Ho’oponopono phrases to myself over and over:

Please forgive me.

I’m sorry.

Thank you.

I love you.

Ho’oponopono seemed appropriate and worked. I did feel better.

Thank you to the universe for this very practical lesson in self forgiveness.