- Mental Health
Admitting Mistakes: Admirable, But Not A Free Pass
I have noticed a new catch phrase lately. It is: "I've made some bad choices in life." This seems to be the new thing to say when you are admitting you did something wrong. I have heard it used to cover everything from bad relationships to crimes. It seems that once it is said, all is expected to be forgiven.
While it is admirable to admit your mistakes and a very important part of personal growth, it is not a free pass to total forgiveness and acceptance of what you have done. One of the important things to realize about mistakes is that they are going to change your life. Owning up to them is the first step. Making sure you don't repeat the same mistake is the second step. I think the third step is accepting that not everyone is going to forgive and forget just because you said you made a mistake.
I don't understand why people think they are not going to suffer the repercussions of their mistakes. It seems that there a lot of people out there that think they are not responsible for their actions. They can do whatever they want and say, "I made a bad choice," and all the effects of that bad decision will disappear.
It's similar to saying "I'm sorry." When this is done from the bottom of your heart, it counts. When it's said to just get someone to get off your back, and is not heartfelt, it doesn't cut it. "I've made some bad choices" is not a cure all for the harm you've done to others or the heartache you've caused.
I especially get furious when I watch those real life crime shows and the criminal uses this expression. They might have murdered three people, but somehow think "I made some bad choices in my life" is an excuse and they will get that free pass to continue life as usual. This will make everyone understand why they murdered three people.
I saw this quote the other day: "You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice." There are things you are going to do that will never be forgiven of forgotten. You may admit you did something wrong and that's admirable, but you have to realize that you also have to suffer the results that action put into motion. It is not a free pass to absolution.