No matter how hard we try to be good or perfect at what we we are doing, it is inevitable that we will make mistakes. Completely avoiding them altogether is not an option, but we can cultivate a state of consciousness that enables us to experience the mistakes that we make as helpful to our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
When we make a mistake, having a positive or negative experience is determined by who we know ourselves to be.
If we believe we are the image of ourselves that we hold in our minds as good, right, intelligent, savvy, respectable, faultless, etc. then we will experience fear. This is because we have invested our sense of self-worth, happiness, and safety in this image. When we feel our source of happiness and safety is being threatened, then we will experience anxiety.
We will try to cover up our error or blame someone else or do whatever we can to try to free ourselves of the threat as soon as possible. In this state, our distress only worsens. We often think, say, and do even more hurtful or stupid things and the original anxiety only grows. Thus, we close ourselves off from the natural peace and joy in our hearts.
If however, we come to realize that we are not the material body, mind or anything contained within it and that our happiness need not depend on these things, then there is no need for us to defend anything. And there is no need for us to remain in this fearful state.
According to the ancient yoga scriptures and other bona fide scriptures of the world, we are not the material body or the mind – we are eternal spiritual beings temporarily wearing the material mind and body. The gross physical body can be compared to outer clothes and the mind or subtle energy body can be compared to under clothes. Just as we are not the clothes we are wearing, we are not the material bodies we are wearing either.
If we understand this, then we will not base our happiness, safety, and sense of self on the contents of our mind or the condition of our body. Instead, we will look to the spiritual level for help in understanding who we really are and how we can find real happiness and shelter. Through connecting with our spiritual Source, happiness and a resting place that is transcendental to material circumstances can be found.
In the ancient yoga system, the recommended method for consciously linking up with our Spiritual Source is mantra or sacred sound meditation. A true mantra is not something anyone makes up. It is the Absolute Truth in sound vibration. This spiritual sound vibration descends from the spiritual platform to the material world without losing any of its potency. In mantra meditation, a person hears and chants or sings this spiritual sound and thus is directly relating with the Supreme.
Through the daily practice of mantra meditation, our hearts and minds gradually become purified of material misunderstandings and misgivings. We eventually come to truly know ourselves as we are and so no longer seek to be anything we are not. In this condition of clarity, we see that there is no reason for us to seek the false happiness of material prestige and power because we are able to experience a divine sweetness and incredible deep joy that far surpasses any superficial, material brand of happiness.
When we are happy and fulfilled in our true identity and loving connection with the Supreme, we do not feel the need for our material body, mind or image of ourselves to be perfect or beautiful. Nor do we feel that we need to convince others of our perfections, beauty, or goodness. We can relax and simply do the best we can with whatever we have.
If we make a mistake or something we do is hurtful to another person, we do not feel the need to defend ourselves. Rather, the love in our heart that has blossomed through our connection with Supreme, motivates us to honestly examine our actions and attitudes – to see our own imperfections and be forgiving about the imperfections of others. Because we are at peace, motivated by genuine compassion and concern for others, we will be able to sincerely apologize and do what we can to ease the pain and rectify our errors accordingly.
When we are in the consciousness of our true spiritual nature, we are able to see all of our life circumstances – including our mistakes – as opportunities for reflection, growth, and loving action. Thus, we can realize that our imperfections do not keep us from happiness, peace, or love. On the contrary, when we are openly willing to see them, we are able to walk a path which leads us to know happiness, to know peace, to know love more perfectly.