I recently had an experience in which I made a major mistake. I sent an email with sensitive information to the wrong distribution list. Someone alerted me to my mistake and I was mortified. As this situation unfolded, I was captivated at the thoughts and behaviors that were triggered. I share this because it was insightful for me and it might be for others.
- Gratitude to the person who alerted me to the situation. How fortunate I was for someone having my back.
- Frantically, I spent time on figuring out how do I recall this message and hopefully wipe out this mistake all together! Looking back, I was fascinated that my first reaction was deception – and then I realized this is how the evil one works. Any crack, chink in our armor is an opportunity for the deceiver to attack / work. Evil is ever-present.
- After going down this path for a while I realized it was futile. It was likely too late. The only person I was deceiving was myself.
- My gut hurt and my mind was filled with lies. “I blew it.” “I will lose this relationship.” “I have irrevocably embarrassed myself.” More deception attempting to take root.
- I fully confessed and owned my mistake – alerting those who were impacted that I messed up. No excuses. No rationale. I made a mistake. I am accountable. I shined light on my error and the darkness went away.
- I apologized and asked for forgiveness.
- I was understood and forgiven! I was encouraged that “stuff happens.” My relationship was restored and became even healthier.
So what did I learn from this experience and take away?
- Mistakes happen. I am an F.H.B. – i.e., a Fallible Human Being!
- Be on guard for deception and lies – they will attack my vulnerability when I am human and make mistakes.
- Own the situation and my part in it. No masks, no excuses, no justification. Light will defeat darkness.
- Receive the gift of forgiveness … and move on with meekness and humility.
- Surround myself with healthy relationships that will give me grace when I will inevitably goof up. Build those relationships daily.
- Forgive freely when someone makes a mistake that impacts me. Remember, they are an F.H.B. too!