Your best teacher is your last mistake.
– Ralph Nader
If I’m willing to stay aware, I can find guideposts that lead me to where I may best grow. As a plant’s stock rises from the earth and it’s flower opens to the sun, change is required for it to blossom—the plant must grow to reach its potential.
The same is for me. I must grow toward what I can be, and yet, there is so much more to growing than reaching an ultimate goal. I don’t just want to arrive somewhere; I want to experience the journey of getting there as well.
I want to experience stunning peace and deep love, powerful silence and hearty laughter, consistent ease and unwavering strength, and all of anything else this moment-by-moment-world makes available to me.
None of what I speak of is guaranteed, and even if any of it arrives, if it does, there is no guarantee that any of it will last. But to experience any one of those things—peace, love, silence, laughter, ease, or strength—even if just once, therein lies what my soul craves.
To have known peace to the deepest niches of my being. To lounge in the arms of love where intimacy flourishes and doesn’t hide from view. To know silence that doesn’t leave me lonely and afraid but instills a quiet fortitude of strength and courage to travel whatever road lays ahead, regardless of what’s given.
To laugh heartily with a lighthearted sense of alignment, an alignment with the universe’s grace and humor. To be okay with where I’m standing, to own who I am without demeaning another to do it, what a gift.
There is ease in living this life, when those moments when I know I’m okay synchronize with my stand in reality, without demand. To have unwavering strength to walk with purpose, to know that even though I don’t know, I know that love is enough.
Of course, I’m never all there, in those moments and places where I experience life’s ultimate, all the time, but I don’t believe that’s the point. I’m not meant to be there all the time. I need to make mistakes and learn, falter and fall, for how else do I grow?
My mistakes trigger guideposts that spring in front of me. They alert me to what doesn’t work. If I take note, I have a chance of growing into the woman I wish to be, which, ultimately, leads me back to what I seek: peace, love, silence, laughter, ease, and strength.