However much he may wince at the memory of them, he is answerable for his mistakes and should so regard many of the pains and penalties he suffers from. To the extent that he intellectually analyses the whole course of his conduct and comes to the right conclusion about it so as to discover where and how he went wrong, his anguish will be somewhat compensated in the end. To do this he needs to perceive those weaknesses in himself which led to his blunder and to set to work to eliminate them. If he omits this and merely surrenders to the emotional suffering, letting himself go into barren despair or falling into egocentric unbalance, he makes the bad worse.
Who has not made mistakes in the past? Wisdom lies in not making the same mistake twice. Situations which bring to the surface what might otherwise have lain hidden in his character and which put his quality to the test give him a chance to adjust himself accordingly. Every important event which leads to them has an inner as well as an outer significance, for it traces back to a karmic origin which is specially selected by the Overself because he is on this Quest to promote his self-knowledge and self-purification.
If he follows the deeper lead, these situations will surely work out for the best in the end, but if he follows the ego's lead, it may easily make a bad situation worse.
However the external situation develops he must cling to his ideals, to his faith in the higher power's intuitive guidance. In this way he does not depend on his own strength alone. At the same time, he can use all his human powers of judgement to fill in the details of what is necessary and right in his own personal behalf.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 1: Situation > # 423