Thats all they are.
Why is so much pressure wrought on people who make mistakes?
From the awkward social faux pas to the grave transgression – a scale of judgement is summarily applied – the temperature of which lists lightly from sotto voiced behind hand whispers to the outraged heaving of an all out twitter lynch mob. I’m not famous enough for the latter but I’ve certainly suffered through the former. It isn’t pleasant especially since at the time I was probably already hard enough on myself.
Shaming is indiscriminate of age. Once a child becomes a teenager (or thereabouts) they are deemed to be “up for it” blamed, shamed and gossiped about. The fact that they are still learning so much about themselves and the world around them combined with the pressure cooker of social media smacks of blatant unfairness. But it doesn’t matter – mistakes seem to eternally have the same outcome.
Shame for the perpetrator. Blame from the crowd and hello listen to an awful mindless soundtrack stuck on repeat.
This is a great pity for obviously it makes people less inclined to be courageous and risk putting a foot wrong. Mistakes are messy things however they are also the seeding ground of learning and bravery. Mistakes are great proponents of growth. Nothing like getting your fingers burnt on a hot surface to know (with great certainty) not to touch it again.
Sometimes in life you have to bumble about making a few mistakes and seeing what works and what doesn’t. In fact it is absolutely necessary to do exactly that if you want to attain any level of wisdom and strength. The worst that can happen is usually a bit of cringe burn. If I had died from third degree cringe burn at certain times (alright quite a lot of times) in my life then I wouldn’t be here today but luckily nobody actually dies from embarrassment – it just feels that way briefly – then life scrolls on.
People get very upset about mistakes. High dudgeon is churned up in the wake of even the slightest of gaffs and don’t even begin down the road of a temporary waiver of the old inner moral compass. The thing is none of it has much to do with the actual mistake – everything (as everything always is) is about energy.
Energy is what makes the world go round. It is also what draws and repels people. Put simply (because I don’t want to get off track) everything that exists has energy and that energy can be measured. High energy lifts the vibration of everything around it. Low energy serves absolutely no purpose and becomes a burden to be around.
Anyway back to mistakes. It is a pity that people do not consider the energy that is directed back at them – back at the world as a whole with the most currently utilised model of dealing with mistake makers:
Mistake > Recrimination = Shame.
In energy terms Shame vibrates at the very lowest calibration (20). Cultures and practices geared towards shame, guilt and misery understandably and predictably fail as they are stuck in a vortex which provides no way to learn from their mistakes.
To look for evidence of this is not difficult as entire socio economic structures clearly depict this model of failure not too far from our own doorsteps. Children growing up in poverty and relentless cycles of violence and shame. With no way out, no useful guidance – – they create their own mistakes and are harshly shoved back down to be consumed and rehashed for the fodder of further generational mistakes to be made. Drive past any housing commission estate and check in with how you’re feeling. Yeah it’s not a good vibe and a very simple display of how low calibration energy affects your body.
If energy is the thing which we all crave then the best we can receive by attacking a person and shaming them is very low. In fact shame pulls everything and everyone around it downwards. This is probably why people prefer to do it from a comfortable distance or behind the perpetrators back as the case usually is. After all self righteousness probably calibrates somewhat higher (pride and anger demonstrably calibrate at 150 and 175 respectively).
A useful alternative perhaps would then be this:
Mistake > Reflection = Reason
Reason has a calibration of 400 just below love (500). If you want to look around you and see reason and understanding – feel that energy – reverberating throughout society then the second option suddenly becomes far more desirable.
Successful education and rehabilitation programs show that they are based on reflection and change in response to learning a better way of doing things. As people are offered pathways out of the lower non productive states of shame and guilt they start to thrive and become better equipped to make increasingly positive choices.
Imagine how much faster this process would be if guilt and shame were not applied in the first place. Imagine a world that operated from a base of reason rather than shame. Imagine a world of courageous people not afraid to try because they are not fearful of failing.
Imagine it and then start applying it in your own life because this is the only way that energy begins to rise towards higher calibrations. It starts with individuals choosing a different more positive way of doing things. The impact that a single person operating from a base of reason can have is immeasurable simply because they lift others along with them.
Here is a great video with a Ted Talk by Brene Brown which offers further insights into the subjects of shame, vulnerability and how important it is to overcome paralysing self doubt in order to achieve our goals and plans. I found it inspiring – hope you do too.
*Note – Energy calibrations stated above are taken from Sir David R. Hawkins M.D. PhD book Power vs Force.