What is your biggest regret?
Tell me, dear reader, do you regret anything in your life?
Imagine if you will, that you are on your death bed. Would you have anything to confess or apologise for? Would you express regret at doing or not doing something? Or would you simply smile and close your eyes with a peaceful sigh, knowing that you have lived your life exactly as you intended to?
I do not really believe in having regrets.
Certainly not when it comes to the way we live. On the whole I see them as pretty pointless things because what’s done is done. Every decision you ever made was intentional at one point or another. To turn around a day, week, month, year later and say “I wish I hadn’t done that” is just silly.
You did it.
Take that and move on. Maybe you can learn from it. Or maybe you’ll forget it eventually. Whatever the result, when you made the decision, you meant to.
Mistakes are not made. They just happen. Okay, so with things that have set rules such as spelling or maths etc. you can make a mistake. But that is because there are definitive ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers to things.
There are no such boundaries set on life. You can, therefore, make no mistakes. At no point will you be able to put a tick or a cross next to events in your life. There is no correct way to live, so how can you make a mistake?!
Little things such as, taking the wrong turn or picking up the wrong carton of milk, they don’t count. Yes, that can be called a mistake, but that’s just an accident that happened because you were distracted or because there was something in the way.
Je ne regrette rien. And why should I?! Yes, I’ve done and said things that when I look back make me cringe. I’ve also missed out on countless opportunities by being too scared or too oblivious. But I do not regret those things, because without them I would never have become the person I am.
I have learned something from every decision I have ever made. And I know I will continue to do so.
So how about you? Any regrets? Because you shouldn’t have any. Once upon a time, you meant for that to happen. When you said that thing, you really meant it. You might not anymore, but at the time you did. People change, it’s true. Over time our words can become obsolete. We can hurt people simply by moving on without realising.
Time is a killer with the way it changes people. What you say one day with full and deep meaning, can be a totally redundant sentence within a very short space of time. It doesn’t take much. But that’s life. So don’t regret it.
I know that perhaps this is all a bit much for a Tuesday evening. But I caught myself last night regretting. And I had to tell myself off. Just as I started to think, “I wish I had never…” I had to stop myself short and give myself a verbal slapping. Trust me, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of those!
But it got me thinking about how easy it is to regret our lives away. We can wish our lives away too. Which is equally silly. Why do we never just appreciate the life we have lived, embrace the now and allow the future to happen as it will? We are so preoccupied by the little things that we forget to look at the bigger picture.
And man is it a big picture.
In the words of 5ive, “Get on up when you’re down, baby, take a good look around. I know it’s not much but it’s okay, got to keep on moving on anyway.”
So, any last words?