Regrets

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Oh, heaven bless autosave. Here is the other post.

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Lately I am besieged with regrets. I know: how pointless! But what can you do?

I’m familiar with the truism that we tend to regret that which we haven’t done, not that which we have. I’ve been reflecting on the things I currently regret. A couple (one rectified) are things I didn’t do. The majority are things I did do.

They’re done. They are essentially irreversible. None of them have life or death consequences, and I’ll be able to, at some point, make peace with those choices. But they are done, and I wish they hadn’t been.

The real difference between the things I regret and those I don’t isn’t whether they’re things I did or things I wish I did. It’s the level of active consultation that went into the choice; the degree to which I feel I listened to my intuition and was true to myself; and the level of support I had that made a good choice possible. In the situations I regret, I really didn’t engage in thorough enough consultation to really know they were good choices. I was hung up with fears of self-exposure, perhaps, or not wanting to be vulnerable, or simply lack of time or contacts to get the feedback I wanted. I was pressured in various ways (time, opinions, money) and thus chose prematurely or inappropriately. And I didn’t have the people resources to allow me to do what I really wanted to do.

What I don’t regret is learning what I need to do to regret less in the future. Open myself up. Share more, even if it’s messy. Stick to my guns. Don’t be afraid to disappoint or be unconventional. Cultivate support and a community to help me do what I want to do.

As for the existing regrets, I’m still trying to figure out how to process them. Yet another truism: The one choice I always have is how I view a situation and choose my response. I know that I don’t want to use retroactive data manipulation to pretend that this actually is what I wanted. Not a fan of lying to myself! But possibly, being a bit gentle with myself in terms of not judging the choices I made; letting myself acknowledge the practical constraints that resulted in these choices, and the positives that they contain; and knowing that the future continues to evolve and I might as well choose to be happy in the moments I have.

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