Have you ever been in the middle of a project when all of a sudden, oops, you made a mistake? Then you realize that this “mistake” actually fits the purpose better?

I love to sew. Through my many different projects, I have very rarely used a pattern from start to finish. However, trying to get it just so, I would inevitably make a mistake. But the mistakes were not bad. They were “happy” mistakes. Each mistake turned out to be exactly what was needed. I learned to start saying, “Oops, I meant to do that!”

For years I have carried this phrase along with me into every project or renovation. It is an easy way to look for blessings in disguise. With each mistake, I formed the acceptance that it was how it should be.

Recently I have been working on expanding that phrase into personal interactions. I find myself observing emotional episodes with avid interest. I watch as emotions flare up. Then I step back and remove myself from the situation. I continue to observe. After some time, I see the consequential life path emerge. This has been very interesting and educational.

I witnessed people become stronger and more self-reliant after being made small. I observed individuals leave a path of personal denial and avoidance and move into a space where they happily spend time getting to know who they are. Personally, I saw my blunder help not only the individuals in the conversation but also people who were not involved. My “mistake” caused old bridges to be burned. However, my “mistake” also led to new bridges being built. Those involved ended up in a better situation with a better “bridge.” I thought it was a mistake, but it fit the person’s purpose better.

Oops, I meant to do that.

I believe each of us is imperfect and we make mistakes. However, that is the perfect situation in which to grow. Just like a puzzle piece is more interesting because it is not made up of four straight edges.

Are you able to work with your mistakes and see how perfect those mistakes can be?