Erase. Replace. Repeat.
I love writing. I love connecting my ideas to words. I love creating digital media. I get to connect my ideas to pictures. I love creating websites. I get to connect words, ideas, and images to create a landing page for my client. Each of these three things has limitless options, but even in this blog, I will erase, replace, and repeat. That's the beauty of art, the beauty of writing, the beauty of life. We start thinking we know how something will work, and before we know it, it's become something far greater than just one mistake we may have erased, it's become something worth sharing and repeating.
I recently created a group on my Facebook page called Body, Mind and Soul. It's a group for people to share what works for them in life. Maybe it's cooking, or working out. Maybe its crocheting, it really doesn't matter, but before I created this group I kept feeling like I needed to erase all my efforts in order to make it work. A simple conversation with my dear friend Jen helped me see I'd been creating something powerful all along, but it would require erasing some of the things I was doing and then replacing them with something that helped meet my goals.
Allowing for mistakes is hard. It's uncomfortable. I recently began reading Stephen Guise's book, How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism. His book is practical and useful in helping people see the futility of perfectionism. "Perfectionists often have a strong “never enough” bias. I want to challenge you to be content in the very moment you read this. Accept your life, as imperfect as it surely is; think This is enough. Contentment isn’t passivity. It’s the highest-quality setup for personal growth: a mind clear of distractions and a pure no-strings-attached desire to do something that matters to yourself and to the world. Contentment even protects us from feeling stuck and acting passively." The thing is most people don't know they are perfectionists, especially if they are friends with some or raised by some. Seeking perfection landed me in a pile of pain and confusion. It messed with my peace and my health. It didn't allow for to address mistakes or flaws I could erase and replace them with new ways worth repeating.
In my podcast today, I shared some insight I had watching my children mature and develop as learners. It's hard seeing mistakes when you worked hard at something. It's hard when you begin a task only to discover you are missing the right tools to complete it. It's hard when you've injured your body and have to wait for the body to heal. When those hard times come, we have a choice to erase all the effort, or find a way to replace what needed to be erased. "When a child can ask for what they need in a way that supports their goals, we call that self advocacy, and that is the greatest strength and greatest reward; and that is the super power of erasing and replacing." The same can be said for adults who need a new way of thinking. We can need to be balanced. We need sort out what mistakes we've been avoiding that need to be erased.
We also need a plan to replace those erased moments. What tools and skills do you already have that can help you replace things that need to be erased. This not a new concept in life or in faith. Last week we celebrated Easter. Many Christians focus on the sins that were erased, but there's more to the story, our hearts of stone are replaced with the spirit and mind of Christ. God's mercy is new every day. He sets the example for us to replace our mistakes and regrets with forgiveness. We can start over. We can find hope to rise again.
Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins."