“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”
Henry David Thoreau
Oh, Regret! You have such a weighty entrance as you step into the arena of my thoughts. I tense, as I look at you, my shoulders lift towards my ears as my hands glide behind my back and I feel the urge to inch backwards, up against the wall of my mind.
Oh Regret, I feel afraid. Yet, I can also sense that this time you did not bring guilt with you but perhaps something new. I breathe. My shoulders drop and I lean in, intrigued at this new perspective.
Oh Regret, you replay that story, the same one from my life as a teenage girl. It haunts. Yet, as the years go by you invite me to look past the shame, you present precious lessons and you vow the importance of passing these along. You suggest that I am a teacher to those still learning.
Oh, Regret! You probe for my understanding as you display myself fumbling through my teenage life. You challenge me, inviting me to consider what I would do differently and you remind that the temptation to feel ashamed can no longer over overwhelm me. Time moves on, seasons let us grow.
Oh, Regret! On this occasion, you have come as a helper. I wrestle with the cringe of watching her stumble as you replay the story of my past. I long to support her with some timely wisdom; a few examples such as these:
My Lessons I Have Learnt From Regret…
Befriend the truth-tellers.
The honest ones, the ones who love you hard, even when it will hurt. They don’t flatter your feelings but they protect the integrity of your heart. These are the ones you can trust and they will probably last. Don’t push them away.
fast like seasons, tastes, ideas, besties, boyfriends, crushes and break-ups. It’s a wild, deep and complex ride. It can get really tricky and really hard. We truly need older, wiser, women who can help us weep. Get to know that woman you admire and learn from her; don’t try going it alone.
Stay there longer.
It is one thing to try new things but it’s quite different to give up on things you are trying. Don’t give up so easily. Practice. Be active. Pour your energy into staying there, into trying more. Try not wasting your emotional, mental and physical energy on being liked, it will make you miserable. Find the thing and practice it, dancing, painting, baking or sport. This will make you feel great about yourself. I promise.
You have power over the decisions you make.
Understand that you don’t have to go along with what other people are deciding. Be conscious. Be present. If you are going with the crowd, make sure its because you chose that. Learn to listen to that “it doesn’t feel right” thing, it knows. You know.
Be bold and brave.
Oh, Regret! It has been quite refreshing, to stand with you, unafraid and to let you point out the places that are perfect for letting the light come in.