I use this phrase a lot when talking to friends about difficult moments in life. We all have them. Sometimes, we get there because we made a mistake. Sometimes, we get there because the circumstances were beyond our control. Sometimes, we land exactly where we needed to fall in order to learn a lesson on how to get back up again.
This happened to me during my marriage. I married a guy I knew from the beginning wasn't right for me. But I chose to ignore my gut. I married him, anyway. And then I had to live with that choice. I accepted that, but I paid dearly. I finally learned my lesson when I decided to listen to my gut. I now pay closer attention to those inner voices. I'm not saying I'm perfect. That's impossible. But I do my best. Every day I make a choice to do my best. And I take time to listen, realizing it's okay to make mistakes, especially when you don't have all the information needed to make a better choice.
What I learned from my experience in a marriage that wasn't meant to be is that I can survive my decisions--no judgement necessary, not of him, not of me. I think it's important to remember that as long as we're living on this earth, we're just practicing. We won't necessarily ever "do it right." You probably know people who always seem to get it "wrong," if that's how you would describe it. They are the ones who wind up in jail, or in detox, or maybe even homeless. They are the ones who keep hooking up with the wrong partners, or continue to write checks that bounce, or stay in a marriage where they are continuously abused. They all know better, but they haven't figured out that they can do it differently, that they have the right to do it differently--even if it means offending someone or leaving someone behind.
Then again, that place that doesn't sound so great to you and me may be exactly the place where they need to be. And they may have to stay there till they learn their lesson. They haven't yet received their whack on the head, their ah-ha moment. We all get one from time to time, some more than one, and some of us need to get it over and over again until we finally decide, "I get it!"
It happens because we're all just practicing.
We're just practicing.
The beauty of those three words together is that they mean we get do-overs--even those of us who are repeat offenders. We all get a second chance to prove ourselves, or, to improve ourselves. That's a gift from a spiritual force that is beyond understanding. It means we have the power to bestow on ourselves that unconditional love we don't always get from other people in our lives. Isn't it nice to know you can do that for yourself?
The next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, and let's say you don't pick the best choice possible. Let's say you're dealing with the fallout from the mortgage crisis. Let's say you're one of those people who decided to just turn their housekeys in and call it quits. You're not paying another dime on a house that cost more than it's worth. Eventually, you'll have to deal with that. But once you do, once you've nailed down the solution, you will be able to try again. That opportunity may not come right away, but it's out there, waiting for you.
Or, let's say you've met a potential mate. You fall madly in love. You overlook all the flaws, because you just know they'll go away once you're married. But then you have second thoughts. Right there is your time to act. When we take time to realize we're just practicing, that's when we realize we also have the right to change our minds.
Even if you keep on making mistakes, time after time, as long as you realize this, you will never lose the opportunity to try again, to change your mind, to reconsider.
Should anyone suggest to you otherwise, just tell them, "You know, I was just practicing. And it didn't work out. I'm going to try something else, instead."
There is power in those three words. Be sure you know you can use them, at your will, under any circumstance.
This is why it's important to develop your Killer instincts. They give you the power to protect yourself when no one else can. And eventually, practice may even make perfect. And if it doesn't, it'll be close enough.
All my best,