Mistakes. We all make them. They range from little ones, like a wrong answer on a test question, to monumental in size, like choosing to run a red light and causing an accident. Good parenting deliberately teaches the child how to handle them early in life, instead of simply assuming the child will learn on his own, because let’s face it, there is a certain finesse involved in facing our mistakes in the aftermath!
Case in point: she came to wear the crown at the ripe old age of eighteen. Still very much a child in so many respects, unwise to the ways of adults more shrewd than she’d ever encountered, still playing with dolls, leading a sheltered life. For Queen Victoria of England, it was the perfect set-up for a huge mistake. The Golden Globe winner, Victoria, does a good job of telling the tale.
Lady Flora, lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, looked, for all purposes, pregnant. The court Doctor and a few nefarious women of title spread word of her pregnancy out of wedlock. The man accused of the act was none other than John Conroy, the Queen Mother’s personal advisor. The news of the possible pregnancy made it to the young Queen Victoria, who, feeling a profound hatred for John Conroy, her mother, and Lady Flora, because of their attempts to control her, very publicly, demanded an examination be performed on Lady Flora. Clearly, the Queen saw this as her opportunity to finally rid herself of the bonds her family had on her.
As it turned out, Lady Flora was suffering from a very advanced stage of liver cancer, not pregnancy, as the Queen’s court had surmised. Her plans to disgrace Lady Flora, John Conroy, and her own mother backfired on her. Queen Victoria’s mistake tainted the first 100 days of the young monarch’s reign.
Fortunately, she had a personal advisor, Lord Melbourne, who coached her on handling mistakes. In the TV series, he simply told her that as monarch, she could not appear weak, but had to hide her hurt behind a smile and move on. The people needed to know she was strong enough to take the reins of ruling the country, even if she was only eighteen.
Mistakes happen. Sometimes, they occur because of our own ignorance. Other times we make them when we’re feeling just a bit too cocky or brash. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. What’s important is what we learn from them, how we rise from the ashes of them, how we get back up after falling down, and how we admit our fault regarding them.
If nothing else, mistakes teach us perseverance and perseverance leads to proven character… if we allow it. However there are a few steps we must take to achieve that end goal.
Finding Victory Over Mistakes
- Own up to it. Society teaches us that to do so is a sign of weakness, but society is often wrong in its recommendations, because most of us, given the choice, will always opt for the easier path instead of the right one. On the contrary, I would say that owning up to a mistake is a sign of strength.
- Apologize if necessary. Simply trying to be overly nice to try to make amends with someone is a sniveling, weak admission of guilt, or worse, an attempt at manipulation. It takes strength to apologize face to face with the person we’ve wronged, but in the end the offended will have so much more respect for their adversary. It might even lead to a better mending of the relationship, because apologizing is the first step to bringing trust back into the mix.
- Get up, dust yourself off, laugh at yourself if you have to, and move on, grateful for a lesson learned. Hold your head up, knowing that you’re not the first to make a mistake, nor will you be the last.
- Commit the mistake to memory so that it guards you from making it again. Allow it to be the checks and balances of your future decisions, but don’t give it the control that prevents you from trying new things, moving forward, and taking risks.
Give love, live loved, persevere in strength and good character. Have a great weekend.