In the midst of knitting a sweater there are lots of opportunities to notice the mistakes I’ve made and to reflect on Practices of Repair.

The process of noticing a mistake and figuring out what to do next gave me the opportunity to think about Practices of Repair.

Here are a few things that connect to Spiritual Wellness that I became aware of in the process. Links to earlier reflections are here:

1. Mistakes are going to happen if we are alive.

2. Opening up a mistake to repair it feels vulnerable.

3. Checking in regularly means less time between the Mistake and the Practice of Repair.

4. There might be more than one way to work towards healing.

5. It might take a lot longer than we thought it would!

6. Sometimes things cannot be fixed!

The consequences of some mistakes cannot be scrubbed out of our lives. Some things cannot be undone.

Some mistakes can’t be fixed

The knitting example that comes to mind is the sweater knit too small and too slowly for the quickly growing child or the lovely woolen item washed and dried and shrunk beyond flexibility and its intended use. Or the knitted garment thrown into the fire. Yes, with dialogue and curiosity, there may be hope for some error-filled knitted items to become useful for something or someone else. Perhaps the best thing that can be done is to pull the string until we end up with a ball of wool to begin again.

We are aware that our lives are not so simple as a knitting error. Every metaphor eventually breaks down.

Some things change our lives forever. We can’t necessarily unravel the mistakes that have been part of our individual experiences, our relationships, or our cultural choices. There are many things that break our hearts and for which all we can do is humbly repent and ask forgiveness and leave the situation in the hands of the Divine Family.

Sometimes certain steps in the healing process need to be worked through the inward spiral before there is a hope of stepping onward.

We cannot control other people and their reactions or responses to what has happened.

We cannot make other people apologize for the trauma they have inflicted.

Some things cannot be healed in the ways that we long for them to be healed.

Into the pain and the grief and the sadness, we ask for the Divine Family to redeem what we cannot repair. We pour the pain into their lap and we listen for the next right thing with compassion and curiosity and grace. And we speak our gratitude that in the messy, in the in-between, the Divine Family walks with us step by step to pour healing balm into the pain of our everyday lives.

What do you notice as you reflect on Practices of Repair? What would you like to add to or change about the things shared here?