January 25, 2007

Regrets, I've had a few.......

Regrets are funny things you know……hard to pin down succinctly. The philosophies, thoughts and ideas surrounding the notion of regret are many and varied. Regrets have been on my mind a great deal this week....I'm not quite sure why, I'm not quite sure if it's the even right word....but there it's been, on my mind.

Some folks say that regrets are just lessons we haven't learned yet....others believe regrets are things we feel badly about....still others think that to regret is to feel sad about a loss or an absence of something or a sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment …..some believe that regret is a dissatisfaction with something or a remorse for a fault or an act. Some even go so far as to liken regret to a prison cell...in that it can keep you captured, stuck....the good news being that, unlike a prison cell, there is no lock on the door…..meaning that we can open that door and free ourselves from the regret.

I think that this guys thoughts made the most sense to me with respect to my life today and thinking, this week, about regrets.....

Regretting is the act of revisiting past decisions or events, comparing them to what might have been, wishing they had been different, and suffering emotionally in the present because they are not. The word regret comes from the Middle English word regrete, meaning "to lament or to feel sorry" and from the Old English word graetan, meaning "to weep." When we give past decisions or events the power to hurt us in the present, we have created burdensome regrets-regrets that corrode our lives.

Why do we regret?

Regrets arise from unfulfilled expectations, from shattered hopes and lost dreams, from failures and tragedies, mistakes and misjudgments. They arise naturally out of life's events and are woven into the fabric of the human experience. Regrets are to be expected as part of being alive. They are inevitable. But regrets do not have to be burdensome. They can be let go and their power to hurt us taken away.

I love words....I suppose that's a trait from my father who was quite the wordsmith in his day....he used words exceptionally well but also liked to play with words. Quotes, phrases and sayings have always been a part of my life.....and so I offer you some quotes on the topic of regret......

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
--Alexander Graham Bell

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in.
--Katherine Mansfield

Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.
--Fulton Oursler

Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.
--Victoria Holt

Regret is insight that comes a day too late

I think I have to say that the last quote is one that resonates with me at the moment...it really sums it all up doesn't it....reminds me of that expression...something along the lines of.....always being a day late and a dollar short.

So tell me.....anyone have any insights or gems of wisdom regarding the notion of regret??

****humming that Ol' Blue-eyes tune on my way out the door......Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I did, what I had to do, and saw it through, without exemption. I planned, each charted course, each careful step, along the byway........****

8 peeps just sayin':

the only daughter said...

No additional insight--you have provided quite a trove of thought and images.

Ms. Mansfield's words are hitting me square in the chest, as are many of the others.

I have to go out into some very cold air today..I feel warmer for having visited you first.


Beth said...

I think experiencing regret is somewhat like the experience of mourning. I don't believe either can be avoided but they do (or hopefully do) exist for a limited time.
I also think you can learn from regret. Tough lessons, but still...
(Nice to "see" you back.)

The Guy Who Writes This said...

There was a line in the Woody Allen film, September that is along the same lines:
"Are memories something that we have or something we've lost?"

Boo, I know you are in pain right now, but on the bright side, you will be able to totally get involved with Spring Fever this year ; )

Sarah said...

Wow. I couldn't have said it any better. Amen sister. This was the post I've needed to read for a little while now...been going through the "to regret or to not regret" for a little bit now with a bunch of recent life changes. Thank you for this post..it has shed some much needed light and direction for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Trish said...

Some people believe that you are reincarnated again and again until you can get to the end of your life without regrets. To me, this means that we'll always be reincarnated over and over again. :)
Life is about learning. You make your mistakes. You regret your mistakes. You learn from your mistakes.. and you become a better person.
You're a doll, and you're loved. So any regrets you may have.. mistakes you may have made.. they worked.. 'cause you're a great person. :)
Big Hugz from your bloggin' fellow Gadget Diva. :D

Dorky Dad said...

I couldn't put it any better. All I know is that regret is about being unable to move forward and accept that something is the way it is. Unfortunately, it's much easier said than done.

Good post.

lori hahn said...

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable" ~ Sydney Smith

If we've done all we were able, and that doesn't mean all that could be done, just what we were able to do, eventually we come to terms with it. You will too. And, then, I hope you can look forward and start doing the things you are able--and perhaps stretch into the things you never thought possible--without regret. Good luck.

Attila The Mom said...

Really fabulous post, Boo. I've been thinking a lot about regrets lately as well. I wonder why---something in the phase of the moon? LOL