Righting a Wrong Choice - Everybody and Everything Deserves a Second Chance

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What do you do when you realize that you have made a mistake? Is there a way to make it right with the person who has been hurt? Is an apology enough? How can we be sure that we won't make the same mistake again?

Here are some great tips to help you make a wrong choice into a right decision. Everyone and everything deserves a second chance.

1. Reflection: Take some time to think about the choice you made and what else you could have done. Assume responsibility for your choices, decisions and reactions; blaming, excuses or circumstances are not a reason to act inappropriately.

2. Recognize: Acknowledge that what you did was wrong, disrespectful or unkind. Recognize that even if you feel you were in the right, there are two sides to every story. Is there a way that everyone involved wins? Put yourself in the other person's shoes. How does it feel?

3. Remorse: Remorse is a sincere feeling of sadness in your heart that it happened and you either knowingly or unknowingly hurt someone else. Be truly sorry and express it in an apology. People need to hear the words. You may need to ask for forgiveness.

4. Restitution: Try to make it better by returning, repairing or restoring, if possible. What do you think is fair? How could you restore a good relationship or trust?

5. Resolve: Resolve to make wiser choices in the future by thinking of options and the kind of person you want to be. Resolve to listen more closely to your moral compass or inner voice. You aren't perfect and we all make mistakes, but resolve to try again and again and again if necessary. Mistakes are never final and be grateful we occasionally get "do-overs" in life.

6. Release: If you have done all you can to remedy the mistake, then let it go. Forgive yourself if you were in the wrong and forgive the other person if you feel they were responsible for hurting you. You can only be responsible for your own choices, reactions and feelings. Don't carry guilt, grudges or anger forward in your life. It can make you sick, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Do what you can to remedy the situation and then allow it to flow away.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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