Regret…a rather heavy word that weighs one down like extra clothing. Making it uncomfortable to move freely in life, always reminding of its presence. I try not to accommodate regret as I intentionally move it to the farthest corner of my thoughts. It is hard not to soak oneself in such misgivings yet the damp chill is unhealthy for hopes and dreams of the future. We all have had times when we made choices we did not like. Life is full of choices. Our day starts with a choice- when to get up and ends with one- when to go to bed. Every twist and turn in existence is a choice. Every breath followed by action derived …by choice. Some of them seem to dance in the sun, some seem to give us sorrow and …regret. But how sweet would the dance be without the sorrow. I can take the sorrow. It melts with time like the winter snow. It is regret that one must be wary of as it stings as long as one holds it close.
I don’t carry regrets long in my life. I have had struggles and learned lessons but I refuse to lament my decisions. I think that looking too long at the past can cause one to stumble as they walk towards the future. Validate it…accept it….let it go. Sometimes this is hard and the shoulda and coulda find their way out. They stir the pot and place regret on the table. I smile, breathe a very deep and slow breath and I say “not today thank you.” I would rather eat alone with my thoughts and me. No regrets… I find them just too hard to swallow.
Memories are like rivers, sometimes rushing by us and sometimes still, reflective pools. They remind us of yesterday’s joy, moments we took for granted like the daily rising of the sun. Times that have filled our hearts with pure pleasure and made us giddy. Every day we have reminders of this carefree past- some flow through us with revelry as we listen to a remembered song. We smile, sing along and recall the jaunty times we’ve known. Maybe an old friend not seen in years. Maybe photos taken in the midst of sheer happiness. We need to relish these snaps and snippets of life past. They will carry us through tough times.
Yet there are also reminders of days not so carefree. Those reflective, deep pools of yesterday that still our souls, those too we must remember. Those memories of pain and difficult times we thought would last forever and a day. They are profound and very deep. Something or someone reminds us of our past pains-like loss of love and loved ones and loneliness. These recollections seep into our heart, stirring our tears and causing us fear of repeating the pain as we remember it. The times of melancholy and remorse remembered. As hard as those memories are to call forward, they must be respected and held in reverence as we learn from them. They show us that we can and do survive the tribulations of our past.
Memories provide a provocative window to yesterday. We glance through and witness good times once again. But memories also reveal the despair and anguish of our past. Both are significant as we look to the future. We need to embrace all memories as friends leading us to better tomorrows.