Question: How can we best learn from the mistakes we make in our everyday lives?

Sri Chinmoy: What are mistakes after all? The very idea of a mistake being shameful or unmentionable creates a wrong vibration in the cosmos. If we think a mistake is something that will inevitably be followed by punishment, then we are totally wrong. First, let us take mistakes as failures. What are failures? Failures are the pillars of success. Failures are God's experiences in us. God is experiencing Himself in us and through us, and He is carrying us towards the ultimate Goal which is perfect Perfection. Second, let us take mistakes as half truths. If we take a mistake as something abominable or unpardonable, then the mistake can never be rectified or remoulded into truth. But if we consider a mistake as an imperfect truth or an infinitesimal truth, if we see in a mistake an iota of truth, then we can feel that the mistake can be rectified and transformed into truth.

When we confess a mistake, what do we actually do? We immediately identify ourselves with our largest part, the all-covering, all embracing part which includes the world and the entire humanity. At that time we can feel that our so-called mistake is not a mistake; it is an imperfection; it is a game of imperfection that we have played unconsciously and unintentionally. The moment we have enough courage to confess our mistake, God's adamantine Protection runs towards us. His Protection shelters us. His Protection immediately becomes our haven. But what do we usually do? We separate ourselves from the mistake as if it were something dirty, ugly and obscene. Instead, let us take each mistake as a lump of clay. This lump of clay can be shaped and moulded into something useful. Then, if we have wisdom and light enough, we can use it for a good purpose.

Each mistake, instead of being taken as a curse, can be taken as a blessing. Of course, we shall not commit any mistake consciously or deliberately. But if a mistake takes place in our inner nature, in our vital nature, in our physical nature, or in our physical mind, then immediately we should be ready to confess it. In our free and humble confession is our immediate emancipation. Otherwise, we shall simply be crushed by the mountain of our mistakes.