Is it possible to live your life without regrets? Of course not! I regret that I didn’t write to this topic sooner. I regret that I just wrote that I regret not writing and so on and so on. Life is a continuous journey that until the final dead end is full of choices. Choices in life are what give us the where-withal to have all these multiple decision points. When we have free will we have a choice. Anytime we have a choice it means that some of the directions we can take can lead us astray and are not the best thing for us. It also means that we may not be happy with some of the possible outcomes.
To regret or to be content with the space and time that we occupy in the universe; because that is what we are really talking about, is still another choice we choose.
I recently made the choice to leave a position that was very financially beneficial to my family. In other words I quit my job and now I regret that decision. There were many reasons to leave this position and end a ten year relationship with a very stable employer, but after six months and in this very volatile economy I fully regret that I felt I needed to leave. Oh, I had many valid reasons to leave; number one on the list was my failing health, followed hotly by the incessant stress that the job itself created and added to my precarious health condition. Number three on the list was the old, I am not getting any younger and want to do the things that I have always dreamt of. I could go on and on with good reasons why I made the decision I made, but now with dwindling funds and long days ahead of me I fully and unrelentingly regret my decision. This is one of the possible outcomes that I am not completely happy with. Regret, unhappiness, sorrow, despair, etc. is part of the whole web of life that is ours to become ensnarled in. On the flip side are contentment, happiness, joy, and satisfaction with our lot. As with just about everything the choice to feel one over the other is part of the free will, choices, which are ours to make.
I regret, I regret, I wish I hadn’t, I wish I didn’t words and phrases that we all have uttered once or twice over some situation. This doesn’t make us bad people who have no contentment within our lives, it just means that we can reflect on our past decisions and see room for improvement. To regret a hasty and inappropriate departure, uttering some hurtful words doesn’t mean we are the devil’s spawn, but rather, we see the error of our ways and now with everything clearer, we see where we detoured. My choice to leave my paying job and possibly put my family in jeopardy is not such a horrendous thing, but rather a choice I made based on the information I had on hand at the time. I can not foretell the future and have no special powers that will enable me to see every possible outcome. The best most of can do is make educated guesses based on our comprehension of the situation at that moment in time.
Sometimes our regrets are not just for things done, but also for things undone. A simple kindness we neglected to show, a word or deed that would have lightened someone’s extra heavy load; these are also added to our burden of regrets. To regret is not a human frailty, but rather a reflective state. If we know that now with more information and a clearer understanding of our pass actions that we were wrong (and it is not bad to be wrong) in some actions, words or deeds, then we are better people for that. We have actually grown in our own skins and possibly learned the next time around to be more content with the space and time that we occupy in this universe.