Mistakes Are Our Teachers
March 9, 2010 · Posted in Buddhism/Parenting, Fatherhood, Parenting · Permalink

mistakes-happenFirst time back in yoga class in five months. The shoulder tear I incurred had me in pain and out for the count for quite some time. I settled into a seated position as we chanted a Sanskrit sentence that translates to “Birth is our teacher, Life is our teacher, Death is our teacher.” Guru, the word for teacher in the chant, really means the removal of darkness to see light. The teacher talked a bit about how life, and our mistakes, are our Gurus. They remove some blindness, some darkness, and something becomes clear, illuminated, something learned, movement happens.

Good timing. The shoulder tear was my mistake. Pushing myself, denying my age – not listening to my body. The teacher had said to me “you can just stay where you are” as I continued to bend backwards. Inside I responded like a four year old stamping her feet. “I WANT TO DO THIS!”  A moment of satisfaction and pride quickly turned into an MRI and five months of pain.  So much for side plank into full wheel!

Five months later, overjoyed to be back in class, I felt grateful of my mistake. I had learned (again) how ego leads to pain, learned patience and respect for the healing process, and learned to be kind to my body instead of feeling angry at it for not performing.

In parenting, we constantly worry about doing “the right thing.” The mistakes we make – too harsh a tone, disciplining when comfort is needed and comforting when discipline is needed, all the many things that feel so not right are our teachers. If we pay attention to our actions and try with all our might not to beat up on ourselves, we grow, we make adjustments, we apologize.

What better lesson to model and teach our children. Harmony, disharmony, repair. That’s the best we can do.

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