Sunday, September 1, 2013

forget regret

An old feeling came to visit this week: Regret. It had been gone for quite some time, but on Wednesday it suddenly washed over me like a salty wave, pulling me out to sea.

There was an opportunity I had almost three years ago -- that if I had taken it, would have brought me down a very different road academically. It was a coveted one, though I didn't know it at the time. Like a pig with pearls I sniffed at the open door, and let it close.

By the time I realized what had been given up, it was too late to recover. It can't be said I didn't try: I even went back and "knocked" (i.e., begged) several times, to no avail. The door was closed and just would not reopen.

I soon found myself stuck in a story of Regret. A story that told me I had messed up, that I had shut the door to my only happy ending. A story that made it extremely painful to accept other fine opportunities that came along -- because they just weren't That.

That which I could have had,

would have had,

should have had,

if only

But as I told and retold this story to myself, it only kept me from seeing my situation as it was. Sure, Now was vastly different from what I had imagined. But, in some ways, Now was better -- because it was real.

And Now is something I can work with, learn from, and experience... if I choose to.

On the other hand, Regret leaves me pining at that closed door -- not realizing what beauty is right next to me, free for the taking, if only I turned to behold it. The beauty of a life not just imagined, but lived.

. . .

i. When we keep one (or both) eyes on Regret, we miss out on all that Now has to offer. If you could make a list, what might Now be offering you? // For me, it's full of projects, collaborations, relationships, activities, skills & insights that I gained by walking this path instead of the one I regretted not taking...

ii. During my readings, I came across a handy framework in which to process Regret. It was a useful/interesting exercise for me and I hope to share it in the near future!


  1. looking back, there are tons of regrets in the choices I made. Those choices affect my life tremendously........However, in the midst of wrong choices & regrets, I saw a glimpse of God's mighty hand, mercy & grace. He carried me through some of my consequences, mend my brokenness, and restored some of my mistakes.

    1. thank you for sharing ... so encouraging to remember this. it's hard sometimes to look away from regret but there can be so much redemption every step of our way.

    2. agree, so true.....