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.
I was a good ten centimeters past this mistake on a cardigan sleeve when I finally noticed it.
I’d rather do things and be engaged (and making mistakes) than be sitting in the cheap seats criticizing. So, I don’t expect perfection of myself. Just genuine engagement.
Here are a few things that connect to Spiritual Wellness that I became aware of in the process of becoming aware of the errors and repairing them. There are links below to the first four reflections on this process:
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!
When I pulled out the stitches on this sweater, I thought I’d be able to pull out the mistake and move on within 20 minutes.
Altogether I spent three hours — nine times longer — that I thought I would have to spend, in order to fix a relatively simple error.
In our mistakes in relationships, our long term patterns of un-health, our complicity in generations of social injustice, the path to repair will not be instant.
If we were talking in terms of coffee, we would know that “instant” is not what we want, but when we are talking in terms of personal growth, we sometimes think that instant is all that is desirable. Or we judge ourselves/others because things are not “better” right away.
Just because we have become aware and we are working through the steps one by one, does not mean that it will look better on the outside or feel better on the inside right away. Personal growth is not magic, it’s growth. And it takes time.
The path toward healing is step by step, winding and uncertain.
It is worth it to stay with the process and to calm our anxieties as we allow healing to take place in ourselves, in our families, and in our cultures!
But there are some situations that will never be repaired in our earthly experience which leads to the final reflection linked below: