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.

A knitting mistake

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.

Still, I did notice a whole row in this knit sleeve that I hadn’t completed the pattern on. I probably was knitting on auto pilot while we were having family read-aloud time. And I did not notice until the next day…a good ten centimeters of knitting time later.

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

So, with knitting mistakes there are a few things that I could do.

  • I could throw the sleeve into the basket and leave it there forever. Sometimes we do just get paralyzed and stuck because we don’t know what to do next.
  • I could leave the mistake and, along with many other creators, be present to imperfection. There are lots of good reasons to be okay with things being less than perfect.
  • I could unravel all the stitches back to the row I made the mistake in and start again from there. On the sleeve I was working on, this probably would have been my quickest option.
  • I could “ladder back” and redo just the stitches that need the fix . I’d never tried this method before and I wanted to have the experience. I like to learn and practice new things!

Here are a few things that connect to Spiritual Wellness that I became aware of in the process.

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

That’s just a fact.

The more music you play, the more wrong notes you’ll hit.

The more stitches you knit, the more opportunities you’ll have to miss the pattern.

The more relationships and conversations you have, the more times you’ll be hurt or hurt someone else.

One of the things I am most interested in are the ways that we can live (and thrive!) with mistakes. Absolutely necessary in this thriving life are Practices of Repair. Mistakes are going to happen as long as we are alive.

Taking a deep breath and allowing ourselves to become aware of our thoughts can be a great step in moving towards repair. Once I am aware of my thoughts, I can take some steps toward thinking in more healthy ways.

This begins with awareness. From awareness I can find safe ways to let go of the thoughts that might control me and make a decision that grows out of what matters most to me.

One of the biggest traps we step into is being paralyzed by our mistakes. If we think that we are not worthy of love, belonging or forgiveness, it is really hard to consider admitting a mistake or even allowing ourselves to become aware that we might want to do things differently.

As I allow the light of conversation with the Divine Family and dialogue with skilled, compassionate companions, to shine on my mistakes the process of healing can begin.

There are five other things that I noticed as I worked through this knitting repair that relate to personal growth and spiritual health. You can jump to the posts on each of these thoughts by clicking the links below.

2. Opening up a mistake to repair it feels vulnerable. (Available February 11, 2020)

3. Checking in regularly means less time between the Mistake and the Practice of Repair (Available February 12, 2020)

4. There might be more than one way to work towards healing. (Available February 13, 2020)

5. It might take a lot longer than we thought it would! (Available February 14, 2020)

6. Sometimes things cannot be fixed! (Available February 15, 2020)

What might a Practice of Repair mean to you? How might we enter a Practice of Repair around our mistakes?