To Err is Human

Thought: People make mistakes – that’s why pencils come with erasers on the end.

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them.

Being wrong is easy – the hard part is admitting it. Much of the emphasis of the Twelve Steps is on the need to face up to problems, not least those we have created for ourselves. We are challenged to admit that we are powerless over addiction, that our lives have become unmanageable, that we have defects of character and have wronged people.

But, if we are not careful, we can be overwhelmed by the negativity and sense of guilt.

There are two important things to remember. One is that we are not alone in making mistakes and the other is that everything can be made better.

Everyone fails in all sorts of ways and with awful frequency. It is part of being human. All religious teachers recognise this and challenge people to recognise both their weakness and that there is a source of strength available to them.

Jesus, as one example, while telling his followers that they must be perfect like their Father in heaven, never failed in his openness, understanding and forgiveness for those who fell short of that ideal – and that means everyone.

You don’t need to be “religious” to recognise that you are not what you could be. Whether God or Chance gave you the opportunities, you have not made the most of them.

At one and the same time you need to accept that imperfection is normal but never to use that as an excuse for giving up on the goal. There is help available – from your faith, your friends and your family.

Similarly, the fact that some damage can never be repaired is never a reason to give up trying to make things better. In the most extreme example, a murderer cannot bring his victim back to life but he can help to repair other lives and, in so doing, redeem his own.

To err is human – everyone makes mistakes. Never see yourself as different from the rest nor give in to the prideful fantasy that you are the worst of all. And never imagine that you cannot be better. The only barrier to success is the fear of failure.

Follow us at @addictionsuk. Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

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