If you’re like me, you’ve probably screwed up enough times to look back and be like “Wellp, I suck.”
But have you ever made a “mistake” that you’ve later come to realize was actually a blessing, or something that disguised itself as a discrepancy in your life just to help you grow?
These are what I know as Helpfuls in Hiding.
Disclaimer: If you’re running around making mistakes on purpose, looking to help yourself, you’re going to end up seriously screwing yourself over instead. That’s cheating the system, see, because mistakes are accidental.
A true Helpful in Hiding will reflect 5 stages of presence in your life. They are as follows:
- Birth. This is the part when you “screw up,” so your heart drops and you look at your Shadow Self and think O.M.G. What is WRONG with me?! Aaaaaand then you might cry or punch the wall or something else emotional human beings do. The Helpful in Hiding here exists, but it might be so in Hiding that you have yet to see it.
- Denial. This is like the toddler phase of the Helpful in Hiding – you baby yourself and the mistake and don’t pay too much attention to what you can learn from it, you just spend your time and energy trying to assert that, hell no, it wasn’t your fault.
- Acceptance. This is the bit where you go “Damn, I can’t believe I did that. Looks like I really need to work on *enter character trait that might kinda suck about you here*.” And the Helpful in Hiding kinda peeks it’s cute little face around the corner.
- Growth. Here is where you take what you’ve learned about yourself (your skills, talents, character, what have you) and use it to your advantage so you can grow and change. After all, life is movement, and the best way to use Helpfuls in Hiding is to enhance your life through said movement. Once you unearth your Helpful and it is no longer in Hiding, growth and change can manifest in your life and yourself.
- Gratitude. As with any life changing event that can affect your character, soul, and happiness in your life and the lives of those around you, gratitude for your helpfuls in hiding will find you (you don’t have to find it, it will just happen), and you will start a. seeking new meaning in the mistakes you make and b. not beating yourself down so hard about the mistakes you’ve already made.
Mistakes are necessary for our growth, but can only be considered Helpfuls in Hiding if they take the shape of most (if not all) of the aforementioned stages. Here’s why:
- If you stay in the birth stage, you’ll just be miserable about who you are. That’s not ever so pleasant, unless your happy being miserable (probably not likely, since you’re reading an article based on manifesting light in a thing with such a negative connotation).
- If you stay in the denial stage, like an addict, you will have no means to change because you will convince yourself there is nothing to change or nothing worth changing.
- If you stay in Acceptance but don’t move on to Growth, you’re basically accepting that you have flaws and you are settling to not strive to improve your character, soul, and happiness in your life and the lives of others around you (as I mentioned before).
If you get to Growth, Gratitude will follow, and you will have successfully raised your little Helpful in Hiding to be strong enough to come out of the shadows and follow you blissfully, without the burden of unnecessary regret.
When mistakes are called by their given name, negative connotation and all, it is the first step in progress towards changing your life to be the way you envision it. You know how people tell addicts that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem? Yeah, that’s what it’s like here, too.
Only when called for what they are can a mistake birth a Helpful in Hiding.
Example: I got fired from a job I liked, because I accidentally missed a shift. I saw the e-mail about my terminated employment and felt my heart drop – it was the first real, “Hey man. You fucked up. Now you’re going to pay for it.”
So I remained unemployed for three months while I drowned my boyfriends and my savings accounts (mine was quite meek though, my boyfriend really stepped up and saved my butt). It took what seemed like forever for me to find a job, but after relentlessly filling out applications without any avail, I got hired for one I’m really fond of. Seriously, if I wake up sick and can’t go to work – it disappoints me. That’s never happened before.
Anyway, I really screwed up at work recently. As a matter of fact, this is my first real job, and I’m learning how hard it is and how long it takes to have a job where people truly rely on you, on multiple levels, to have your shit together – so naturally, I make a lot of mistakes.
Go figure. You really care about something, and you mess up. Then you think “Hey, maybe I wasn’t really 100% prepared for this.”
When I discovered the severity of the mistake I recently made, and how a step can be felt from across the world, I beat myself up pretty bad for like 10 minutes straight. You might say “Boo, only ten minutes?” but they were a rough ten and I don’t like wasting too much time listening to the personal critic in my head call me stupid.
(This is probably why employers want to hire people with experience, by the way.)
So I immediately (after those ten minutes) brainstormed how I can be better, and I started being it. I started writing EVERYTHING down, not just what I considered important (because even the small things are). I wrote them neatly, at that.
After wracking my brain of how I could be better, I thought, “Well, maybe I should be 100% prepared to not be 100% prepared. Then I might start getting somewhere.”
I envisioned the mistake of losing my previous job – I remembered how that felt, and how much worse it would be if I lost this one. Negative visualization for the win.
Then I realized, holy shit. I’m so glad I lost my last job – now I have this one – and I make more money and have better hours and live a happier life. Pretty cool, huh?
My mistake at my previous job forced me to grow and extend my branches to a new place, with new people and new experiences. It also taught me how sucky it feels to be thrown out because of something I did (or, well, didn’t do), and made me want to avoid doing that again.
The mistakes I make at my new job are all significant in the way that when I go into work, I know exactly what I don’t want to do. Now that I’ve made those mistakes, I’ve gotten just that much better at what I want to accomplish.
And then you start getting somewhere.
By preparing myself to not be prepared – and preparing myself to make mistakes – I can avoid some future ones.
By knowing I’ll screw up every now and again, just like everyone else in this world, I open my mind to moving through the Helpful in Hiding’s stages just a wee bit more quickly, sparking growth and change as I know it.
You can do this too. Just remember – mistakes are accidents. You can’t grow if you go around messing up on purpose.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the life span of a Helpful in Hiding can be anywhere from ten minutes, to ten years, to however long – but it will accompany you for a lifetime.
Now go, explore, learn, and be grateful.