We start messing up from the very beginning of our lives. We touch the stove when we're not supposed to, we spill drinks in restaurants right when our parents let us use the big-kid cups. We fail a test. And then we start failing other people. It's a lie to say that no one makes mistakes, because the reality is, our mistakes mold us into the people that we are. We can't become smart, socially aware people without messing up over and over and over again.
For the most part, mistakes are a part of life; mistakes help us grow. But when do we draw the line? At what point is it okay to draw the line, and stop forgiving people for the mistakes that they make? As much as we want to see the best in people, sometimes it's better to be pessimistic and to watch out for yourself and for the people that you care about.
Let's say you fail a test at school. Maybe your mistake was not studying enough, or maybe it was choosing to go out the night before instead of staying in and looking over lecture slides. Maybe your mistake is clear, and you are able to pinpoint where you went wrong, and you are able to promise yourself that you won't make that same mistake again next time. Sometimes, though, the answer is a little bit more foggy. Maybe you studied as hard as you could, and succumbed to your exhaustion at 2AM. Maybe you even turned down your friends' offers to go out, and stayed in instead.
If you get to this point, things can become pretty discouraging. Is it because you're not smart enough? Is this even the right school for you, and if it isn't, then which school is? It's easy for us to be in over our heads because the way we see ourselves is horribly disfigured compared to the way that other people see us.
So again, let's say you've thought of every possible reason that would explain why you failed this test. You make a mental checklist in your mind and it frustrates you knowing that even you don't have the right answer. The thing is, your mistake had nothing to do with how much you studied or how much you sacrificed for this test. Your mistake is not accepting all of these facts, because in the end, what else could you have possibly done to do better? You need sleep. You need your mental sanity, and in the end, no test is going to be worth any of that.
This example is one of the least complicated ones that you will experience throughout your lifetime. Think about all the mistakes that you're going to make over the years. Remember to forgive yourself, even if other people can't. Understand where you went wrong, and be better for next time. And maybe you'll lose people in the process, and maybe that's going to hurt like nothing else, but don't lose yourself... Because that is going to hurt so much more.