Failures and mistakes are part of our human frailties and fallibility. We are imperfect creatures and nowhere near the perfection of our Creator. Nevertheless, we hold the distinction of being the most complex of God’s creations. Our abilities of critical thinking, reasoning and free will set us apart from our fellow creations. Thus, we are given the task of being stewards and caretakers of this world. Aside from this important task, these God-given abilities unique to us humans are what we need to learn and move on from our mistakes.

We have been taught in school that intelligence is a distinct human capability not found in animals. That is only recently, more and more animals have been found to possess some form of or have rudimentary intelligence: dolphins and other cetaceans, chimpanzees, cats, dogs among others. That is why, as mentioned earlier, the capacity for critical thinking, reasoning and free will is what sets us apart from animals.

We make use of our intelligence to learn from our mistakes, let go, and move on. The first step to moving on from our mistakes is to acknowledge our mistakes. We need to know what we did wrong and the extent of the effect of our mistakes. When we do so, we know how much burden or guilt we need to carry and resolve.

Next is reflection and introspection. We reexamine and reevaluate ourselves and the factors that lead to our mistakes. We can effectively do reflection by spending a private moment of contemplation and meditation. In our own ways, we look back on the things we did when we made a certain mistake. By expanding our perspective and critical thinking and logic, we begin to formulate rational thoughts and courses of action to correct our mistakes and possibly counteract the effects of our mistakes. After we have found our resolve to accept, reflect on and correct our mistakes, we are ready to proceed to the next important step: apologize, and sincerely do so.

Why emphasize sincerity in apologizing? Although some of us have a hard time saying “sorry”, there are also some of us who can easily do so; the bottom line is when we do so, we have to do our best never to repeat the same mistake or mistakes again. In addition, people we say “sorry” to will appreciate our asking for an apology if we can show them that we are doing our best not to repeat our past transgressions. Easier said than done right? That is why have to be fully prepared when we want to ask for forgiveness.

When we finally do receive the acceptance of our apologies, especially the words “I forgive you”, we can successfully move on from our past mistakes. Letting go is not forgetting our past mistakes. It is more like putting our mistakes behind us. We do not necessarily have to forget about our mistakes entirely; we forget about our mistakes so as not to have our past mistakes have an effect on our present situation and affect how we go about our lives. However, we have to occasionally remember these mistakes to remind us about them and to guide us when we encounter situations and scenarios where we made mistakes in the past.

Moving on and letting go can be the satisfying results of our efforts to learn from our mistakes and to seek forgiveness and redemption. When we let go of dwelling on the past mistakes we did and move on after resolving our mistakes, we feel a sense of relief and freedom from the burden of guilt and regret that beset us. Bouncing back and growing stronger from our mistakes can redefine our personalities and change our outlook in life for the better.