• “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” ~ Bob Ross (1942-1995; American painter and art instructor best known as the creator and host of “The Joy of Painting”)
As a long-time painter (I did not say “artist”—LOL!), I agree with Bob Ross, but it took me a long time before I was able to do so. Believe me, I’ve made many mistakes in my time and not all of them on a canvas, but I think he is correct.
“Wait a minute!” I can hear some of you say. Regular readers of this newsletter may recall that I frequently quote one of my wisest teachers, Maitreya (channeled by Margaret McElroy). He repeatedly wrote that “there are no accidents” and “there are no mistakes.” So, yes, I am guilty as charged. Difficult as it sometimes is to accept, I firmly believe every word Maitreya has written on this subject. Just to refresh your memory:
• “There are no accidents in the human world. Everything is as it should be for each individual soul to learn their lessons. Many souls make it; many souls have to return to another incarnation to do so. It is choice, nothing more. It is the [Lower] Self that creates the need by constantly berating and enforcing negative programming. When one can move to the Higher Self, one no longer has the problem.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #83, September 1, 2003).
• “Forgiveness is the most important energy in the world, yet so many of you cannot forgive yourselves for making the wrong choices—or mistakes, if that word must be used.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #220, January 5, 2009).
Ahh! So, Maitreya talks about “mistakes” simply as “wrong choices.” Got it. What else?
• “There are no mistakes, only lessons learned from the experience. There should be no shame that one made a wrong choice. This happens every day on the earth plane. Millions make choices which sometimes are not good. But whether good or bad, they are all learning experiences.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #220, January 5, 2009).
• “Each of you was given the gift of choice. It is yours to do so, to choose what you will do. Sometimes because of fear souls choose not to do something that they know they should do. … there are no accidents on the earth plane. Everything is perfect. If you do not learn something one way, the Universe will bring it in another way. The lesson or opportunity is presented in many ways until you choose to learn it.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #224, March 5, 2009).
Okay, so it is all about choice and learning. Got it. But I think there is another important piece to this puzzle that Maitreya says but doesn’t emphasize. He says, “The lesson or opportunity.” It’s the word “opportunity” that really cements the idea of soul evolution as a choice, our choice, moment-to-moment, day-by-day. By the way, I really (at least I try to) appreciate all of the “accidents” in my life as learning opportunities because, without them, I’m sure I would be making much slower progress in my spiritual life than I am already! Thank goodness we have an (unpopular) ally in such endeavors as discussed in my newsletter, “In Defense of the Lower Self”
But what about mistakes? Isn’t a poor/bad choice really a mistake? If Maitreya says there are no mistakes, how can Bob Ross have a “happy accident?” Am I just a blatant hypocrite or can both possibly be true? Or have I really “lost my marbles” this time? There are way too many questions here, so let’s just let the contenders speak for themselves and then you decide:
• “Don’t be afraid to scrape the paint off and do it again. This is the way you learn, trial and error, over and over, repetition. It pays you great dividends, great, great dividends.” ~ Bob Ross
Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?
• “Life is a continual learning experience. If you did not make mistakes—as you on Earth call it—you would never learn. There are no mistakes, only choices.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #309, April 9, 2010).
The second sentence of that last quote is the crux of the answer regarding my apparent hypocrisy. “If you did not make mistakes—as you on Earth call it—you would never learn.” That is the very reason why we are here on this earth plane, to learn how to become a better version of ourselves (a.k.a., raising your vibration, soul evolution, enlightenment—whatever you want to call it). Learning life lessons is a trial-and-error process. If we learn the lesson, a “mistake” is, in actuality, a “happy accident.” It is happy because we chose to learn from it. The only “mistake” we can ever really make is our choice not to learn the lesson!
• “There are no accidents, everything is the way it is supposed to be and one will either learn from the experience, or say, ‘Woe is me!’” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #227, March 23, 2009)
In last month’s newsletter, I stated that I would have more to say regarding “taking responsibility.” Guilt and shame as reactions to mistakes are MAJOR mistakes (learning opportunities) in themselves. Maitreya has some words of wisdom on this issue as well:
• “It is a very highly evolved soul who can forgive another, but an even bigger soul who can forgive oneself. Sometimes the choices one makes hurt another (another source of flagellation of the self). You cannot go back and change anything; nothing can be done to return it to what it was. If this happens, allow yourself forgiveness and move on. So much time and energy is wasted punishing oneself for what one has done.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #220, January 5, 2009).
• “When you can start learning to love yourself, then God, under whatever name you call this energy, can do the work of loving you unconditionally. Until you can love yourself, your negative feelings about yourself will block that love. You have never done anything wrong. You have just taken the wrong road, made the wrong choice, or misused energy.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #309, April 9, 2010).
As we come to the end of another year, I invite you to join me in spending some time contemplating what you experienced over the past twelve months. Did you make any mistakes (don’t forget to forgive yourself for any “mistakes.” After all, we—you and me—are only human!). Or did you learn from those experiences and can legitimately claim them as “Happy Accidents?” And how does that make you feel about yourself and your progress in soul evolution?
May all of your mistakes be Happy Accidents in the coming year. Have a great month!