Regret. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the word, a different definition. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to me? Funny you should ask.
At night, I lie down in bed and the tightening in my stomach begins. Then comes the burn. Breathing? Almost non-existent at this point. My mind races at a million miles per hour, and my eyes stare through the ceiling. My husband tries tracing his fingers through my hair, but it doesn’t help. I’ve been here before, and I know that there isn’t any relief. I will be stuck thinking about all my regrets for hours.
The thing is, there are a million things that get shoved in our faces every single day about what we should have done, about what we should be doing. Images, commercials, quotes, blog posts, Facebook posts. We all think we know the secret to having the best life possible, and yet we all have regret. Do we give in to temptation? Or do we not? We’ll regret it if we do, and we’ll regret it if we don’t. I’ll tell you what: I’ve given in to plenty of temptations, taken the roads less traveled, taken the bait … and I’ve done the opposite. I’ve stayed home, I’ve watched opportunities pass me by, and I’ve taken the safe road. Guess what? I regret both. I regret all sides. I regret doing things and I regret the things I let pass me by.
So what is the correct answer? And how the hell do I let things go?
Maybe there isn’t an answer. Maybe we all just have to do the best we can, take some chances, skip some chances, and hope for the best. I used to work in a nursing home and formed close bonds with many of the residents. And you know what? I rarely met a person that didn’t have a regret or three … but I also rarely met one that let those regrets keep them up at night. Most looked back on their lives fondly; keeping the memories alive by sharing stories of love, of family, of the lives they led that had bumps, but were wonderful nonetheless. Could it be that our regrets are simply making room for better opportunities in the future? That the things we wish we would or would not have done, will not be the things we focus on in the end?
How do we know?
For this week’s upcoming guest post, I want to hear YOUR thoughts on regret. What it means to you, what you do about yours, and how you think we overcome it. If interested, click here.