Mistakes as Teachers

As Spring rolled around, I noticed one rose bush in my garden wasn’t flourishing like the rest. Whereas two of its rose bush friends were springing into life, sprouting leaves, this rose bush remained barren. I thought it was our long, cold, snowy winter that had killed it. Then, I received a newsletter from the local nursery, which mentioned that when pruning rose bush canes that are thicker than the width of a pencil eraser, gardeners need to coat the ends of the canes with a sort of varnish to keep the cane borers from wedging their way inside. I took a closer look at my dead rose bush. Yes, there they were! Holes bored into the canes. I had made a fatal mistake. I had cut the canes last year without applying the varnish. The good news? I know now what to do with my other two rose bushes, and they will be healthier than ever before.

The same thing happened with my Golden Chain tree. Last spring, forty or more sprigs of yellow flowers cascaded from the branches. This spring—nothing. Not a single bloom. I went online to discover the reason and it turns out I was supposed to have pruned the dead flowers in July. I had pruned them in January, when I finally found the time to do it. Next year, thanks to my new found knowledge, Goldie Locks, as I call the tree, wlll very likely be back to her usual self.

In life, just like in gardening, mistakes are our teachers. No matter what crisis you are going through never be afraid to make mistakes in the way you handle it. Analyze what went wrong without beating yourself up. Take the lessons you learn and put them to use. Realize that mistakes happen for a reason. Mistakes, after all, can be our most valuable allies, taking us by the hand and leading us the way we need to be led to achieve success in the future.

What mistakes have you made lately and how have you learned from them?

Kimberly Pryor is the author of The Indestructible Relationship, the story of ten couples whose relationships have survived the test of major crises—the death of a child, becoming a paraplegic a month after the wedding, major illness, bankruptcy, job stress, affairs and natural disasters. What these couples have learned from their experiences can improve the intimacy in your own relationship.

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4 Responses to Mistakes as Teachers

  1. Dawn says:

    Wonderful metaphor for describing our journey. Also a nice lesson about gardening!

  2. Julie Donnellan says:

    I bought something that I thought was on sale, but it turned out not to be. When I got home I checked the flyer and the sale started the next day. Lesson learned, check the dates.

    • Kim says:

      Hi, Julie – That’s frustrating. But sounds like you turned it into a positive lesson. I’ve made similar mistakes. Although I know a lot of people are in a hurry and lead very busy lives, reading things carefully is important, especially for anyone reading this website who is dealing with legal documents or even FEMA documents for natural disasters or insurance claims.

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