There is a big difference between being wrong and a sinner, and making a mistake or sinning. When you say "I am wrong" you are putting a great big statement in front of yourself, and creating a whole whack of shame within you. When you say "I have made a mistake", you are observing an action, and you can learn and grow from it if you choose to. Knowing the difference will create a whole different experience for you in your life.
Check out this story recounted by Paramhansa Yogananda:
"I once attended a service led by a famous woman evangelist. During her sermon she shouted "You are all sinners, get down on your knees."
"I was the only present who remained standing." the Master ended with a smile "I would not admit that I am a sinner."
Having been raised in a religious environment, I was seeing myself as a sinner for almost all of my childhood, and even when I questioned my religion, I questioned whether I was wrong or not about that. I was afraid to make a mistake, to choose the "wrong path". And if I made one, I was quite competent at punishing myself.
I believe we need to acknowledge the mistakes we know if our heart we have made. To refuse to see them, to suffer with pride believing we are immune to making mistakes, will keep us in the habit of repeating them. It takes humility to recognise when we have wronged another, a lesson I have learned in my life in painful ways. But when we admit it to ourselves, and to those we may have hurt as a result, we return to our centre, provided we also give ourselves the compassion we need.
You may have been told by many people you were wrong. Wrong for believing in a particular God, wrong for choosing a path, wrong for listening to a specific teacher, wrong about your opinions. And you may have believed them over your intuition and inner guidance. Others in your life can be wrong too, and it is important to discern, and discover truth for yourself and about yourself. Trust yourself, trust the pure feeling of intuition within you, and forgive yourself for the times you listened to others instead of your own inner wisdom.
Guilt and shame cause us to play out self-destructive habits in our lives. At some unconscious level you may believe you need to be punished, and made wrong, and so unconsciously or consciously, you do so, and end up spinning in your own self created hell. Let go of the need to punish yourself, choose compassion in times of error, and be humble enough to admit the mistakes you make, at least the very least to yourself.
"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."
- Mahatma Gandhi
For each of us, the fear of being wrong can take a different toll on us. Some are so ok with being wrong, that they learn and move on quickly. For those who fear it strongly, and hence need to be right, life can be painful, as they avoid facing the error of their ways. Again, through becoming more compassionate towards self, you will find yourself being able to make mistakes without painful repercussions. In life, we will make mistakes, and if your dreams are to become a reality, you will need to make the most of them.
It is not the sin itself that is the problem, it is the guilt we place upon ourselves for having sinned. Make the mistake, learn the lesson and move on, it is pretty simple, but for many of us it means letting go of the habit of punishing ourselves, which we have developed for a lifetime. When you make mistakes, be willing to forgive yourself, to let go of them, and be brave enough to make them in the first place. As someone who used to be incredibly hard on myself for making mistakes, it is far more freeing to know I can make them, and continue to walk on in my life.
You are not wrong, you have made mistakes. Know the difference. If you struggle with this, find someone you can confide in, someone with the compassion to be able to guide you through it.
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