Wouldn’t it be great if we could always live up to our own expectations of ourselves and others?

It would be lovely and then the world would be perfect and no one would ever make mistakes.

But we’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all made missteps, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional, that separate us from our ethics and belief systems.

We’ve all gossiped, told a lie, revealed a secret we shouldn’t, taken pleasure in someone else’s downfall, broken a promise, turned our backs on someone in need.

There have been times when I’ve lacked integrity, which to me is the most valuable trait one can possess. Those lapses in judgment haunt me and they should. I don’t cherish them. I keep them in my mind to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

Sometimes it is difficult not to judge a whole person by their errors, ourselves included. But I don’t believe they are the sum of our worth.

It also matters whether or not we revel in the consequences of our mistakes. Do we truly take joy in the harm they caused others? Do we truly take joy in others coming to harm?

If you do relish someone else’s pain, then I suggest you do some serious soul-searching. Living like that is a heavy burden.

If you do something that separates you from your sense of self don’t let it destroy your sense of self and don’t let anyone tell you that it means you aren’t who you believe yourself to be.

Mistakes happen and no one’s integrity remains intact throughout their lives.

Do your best to be honest, try to be gracious and remember that there is more strength in love than hate.

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