No regrets?

I heard an interesting speech today.  The speaker said we should live life with no regrets–the woulda-coulda-shoulda’s that we all seem to carry around with us.  Wait, you mean we all carry around woulda-coulda-shouldas?  I will hereby abbreviate this to wcs.  What are regrets?  A sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc. is a regreta feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault or an act.  I would have done my homework, I could have done my homework, and I should have done my homework, but I didn’t.  I would have proposed, I could have proposed and I should have proposed, but I was afraid she’d say no, so I didn’t.  These are the things we are told we must avoid so as not to have regrets later.  If we do everything we must, then we have no regrets.  What about the wants?  What about the options that we choose, what about the explorations of new areas of emotion and education and experience that we are offered in this life?  

You have a chance to go to Vegas for a conference, and you will be allowed some free time to explore while you are there.  You decide to stay in your hotel room because it’s 110 degrees with a hot wind and you have to time your activities to a mass transit bus, and after you get off the bus, it’s a 6 block walk to anything you might want to visit.  Your identical twins decide that they are going to see the fountains and the street performers and try the blackjack tables and the slot machines and brave the heat and the mass transit. You meet up for breakfast the next morning.  Your twins show you the videos of the fountains and tell of the amazing people they met on the bus and the celebrities they saw at the gaming tables.  Then they describe the blisters, the terrible sunburns, and the purses that are several hundred dollars lighter.  You still have money to eat out on the way back, no blisters, and no sunburns, but all you did was watch Gunsmoke reruns in the air-conditioned room and play solitaire on your i-phone.  In this scenario, both couples have regrets.  There is no right path. 

You raise your kids to love learning, to love exploration, to have good manners and good morals, and so do your twins.  After your 1st child, you say to yourself, “Self?  Next time we do it the OTHER way and the child will turn out better and you will get the Parent of the Decade award.”  Your twins raise their child the way you wished you would have, and they  say to themselves, “Self?  Next time we do it the OTHER way and the child will turn out better and you will get the Parent of the Decade award.”  Huh?  Why didn’t 1 child turn out perfect and the other one flawed?  Both sets of parents have regrets about things they did and flaws they had as parents, and the children grew up to be their own selves rather than fit the mold we made for them in their infancy.  How can you live with no regrets?  Even if you choose to do nothing, you’ve made a choice.  In human existence, you are bombarded with choices and every choice has its good and bad aspects.  Everyone regrets the bad consequences and wishes they could have chosen differently to avoid these consequences, but in avoiding some, you choose others.  If you sit in your closet in the dark drinking weak tea, you are going to have regrets about missing the Grand Canyon vacation.  If you go on a Grand Canyon vacation, you will regret not bringing a video camera or not riding the burros down the trail to the bottom.  You will regret not bringing enough sun screen.  You will regret that you left your tea in your closet which was much less uncomfortable than the burro and much warmer than your campground.

Regrets teach you about how you think of yourself and your circumstances.  They let you know what you think your boundaries are.  Regrets allow you to grow and change and gain wisdom in every activity and circumstance.

By all means, DO SOMETHING YOU MIGHT REGRET!  Then learn this mantra, “Well that was interesting…”

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