People of the world, tell me this — what is your biggest regret? And have you done something about it? Part 3
Regret offers us the opportunity to look back and know that we could have done better. It gives us perspective on what we’re capable of absorbing, of changing, if only we’re willing to learn from it and evolve, not in spite of it, but because of it. I think in doing so we free our soul. Doing something about our regrets is the weapon we wield against the disillusionment of our past mistakes. It’s the only way forward. Sharing our regrets with others is a gift — there’s a raw beauty that springs from the vulnerability required for this level of honesty. It brings a certain sharpness and clarity to our resolve to do better, and may help those seeking comfort and wisdom in the response. Why?
Because learning from each other is the magic of life.
Finding humour in our collective ridiculousness is the magic of life.
The ability to laugh at ourselves is the magic of life.
Recognizing regrets, and doing something about them, is the magic of life.
Finding beauty in the unexpected is the magic of life.
Finding beauty in others is the magic of life.
Finding beauty in yourself — amidst the shame and fear and regret — is the magic of life.
Here forthwith, are the remaining responses for your biggest regrets:
Growing up not loving myself and doing everything to please others. Slowly (very slowly) I am learning to accept my imperfections, and love myself little by little. I still have a desire to please everyone first, but in some ways it brings me joy to see others happy, I think maybe even more joy than doing things to please myself.
Foolishly spending all of my savings. I am now out of debt, but not without having paid the price.
Not having taken more time to determine what type of profession I should have explored. Have I done something about it? No, I just keep paying into my current pension.
My biggest regret is not having a better relationship with my mom. She passed away. I am 100 per cent certain our relationship would have gotten so much better as I grew up. As I mourn the loss of my mom, I have a lot of should of, would of, could of. Who knew that after years of losing your mother, it can hurt just as much as the day she died? But I am grateful for those moments. I often say “I’m sorry” to my mom and wish that I could have had a better relationship. I ache for it. And it’s hard because I can’t get that back. But I’m working through the regret and dealing with it has helped a lot. The regret is not as large as it once was.
Not taking more chances in life. I feel I play it too safe. I am doing something about it — slowly, but I am pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone more and more.
Not being more independent. Slowly, I am starting to make choices that lead to my independence, but I still have major crutches that need to go.
Betraying someone close to me. Have I done something about it? Trying hard.
To help survive this crazy existence we call our lives, I’ve always tried to live with having no regrets, and embracing them as experiences that mould me into the person I have become.
Not apologizing when I’m in the wrong. Have I done something about it? As often as possible.
I don’t give regret a lot of thought anymore as that is not mentally healthy and means nothing as it is what it is, move on. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again I would put more effort into educating myself at an earlier age. The U of S has certificate courses in agriculture which was very rewarding and aided in management decisions on our farm. I enjoyed the marketing and economics classes the most.
My biggest regret is not being able to put a stop to family feuds… both sides of the family… when elderly parents only see things one way. A few years ago I got in touch with an elderly aunt who was a stepsister in her family and no one would talk to her when she inherited the farm and the other children got nothing. I don’t blame them but it was not my battle.
Not punching someone in the face when I heard them talk s**t about someone I love. Gotten angry with myself every time I think of that moment, but I think it is what keeps me from backing down when similar situations happen. What I’ve done about it? Not let it happen again.
I don’t have many. All revolve around not slowing down/taking time to be present with those I love most who are now gone. I take time to say I love you even to those in my family who have hurt/disappointed me — be uncomfortable and say something kind.
Not going to see great-grandma in the hospital.
My wife says I don’t think long enough to regret anything I have done.
So far no regrets. Sometimes I think I should have moved away (who goes to school in a hick town and then moves back to work and then be the administrator of that school???) and made some big difference somewhere far enough away so that my parents can brag BS about my big accomplishments. However, I have decided that this hick town is a great place to raise kids. I am also loving the sound of the song ‘bloom where you’re planted’ these days (not really but you know what I mean). Why not try to make a difference here?
Not spending more quality time with my mom before she passed suddenly when I was a teenager. Although, in my defence, I was a teenager :). I’ve learned to cherish the people I do have in my life and take the time to tell them I love them.
I can honestly say that really I don’t have regrets. I’ve done a LOT of incredibly stupid things but that’s part of growing up, being human and helps to shape who a person is. I have things where if I had to do it all over again I would do them differently, but nothing I really regret (i.e. I would go to med school without a doubt!). If I had to say I regretted something it would be in the mornings I used to yell at my kids to get moving, we were going to be late, blah, blah, blah. I hated myself every day. I would destroy the entire day for all of us from the start. They would head to school or the sitter’s crying and quite often I drove to work in the same state. What a terrible way to start the day, almost every day. So, I did something about it. No more yelling (I should clarify that there really is still yelling but more often in the evening!), as long as they get to school on time, all is good. Yes, that means I am usually later to work than I would like but I just make up the time (at midnight, thus why you are getting this now). It makes things better and I didn’t want them to remember their childhood with ‘mom always yelled.’
I regret that I didn’t travel more when I was young. I will travel more with my kids.
It’s an impossible regret — not going back to painting until after my dad passed away, but I have to appreciate that the loss was the catalyst to drive me back into it. It’s what I have been missing and life is too short to deprive yourself of healthy things you love. †