See that pile growing over there? It’s the pile of my regrets. It has grown steadily, surreptitiously, without my notice over the course of my life. Some people can surge gamely forward and rarely look back. I try to do the same but fear it is not in my nature. In a way, I think that’s all to the good as introspection is the foundation of self-improvement. Other times, I wonder if I would be better turning off my interior recorder and just living in the moment. It is not a question I have answered yet and so I continue to be distracted by the rattling coming from that pile.
You see, the pile refuses to lie quiet, obediently deteriorating under layers of dust. Instead, it shifts and rattles with the bones of the deceased. I am here, do not forget me. I hear their sounds as I go about my daily tasks and catch their stealth like movements out of my peripheral vision. Sighing, I turn once again to contemplate them and like a preening child, they shake off the dust of years to grow strong again in the light of my memory, the warmth of my vision.
I wish. I wish and I wish that I could go back and change some of the things that I have done. Yet, that wish is surely a part of the human condition.
I wish that I knew some of my decisions would have such far-reaching effects resulting in, at a minimum, a more weighty consideration. Precipitous actions, my friends, are not all they are chalked up to be. I wish to tell my younger self to be patient, be mindful and be true to what you believe. I wish for no regrets you see. Some things once done can never be undone. We hear that phrase over and over again but it really has no meaning until is part of your reality. And oh to take it back, a word here, a slip there, an unkind, selfish act there and oh the pile, see how it grows? And it will never disintegrate. It will never be seen by outside others but it has the strength to rake me over the coals and make me cringe at the stupidity and foolishness of my actions as I did as we all do, tried to find my way.
The remedy seems so simple, so obvious…just let them go. Well, once you bury your regrets and go blithely along your merry way do you also forget the lessons that past mistakes should have taught you? In editing your experience do you lose sight of the things which shape you? It is only the ability to understand my missteps that informs my future self. And surely it is only in my challenges that I comprehend the layers of my ever growing self-definition.
Still I wish I was wiser, better, smarter and then I remember that the only path to greatness lies in risk, occasional stupidity and the inevitability of mistakes. So, I bear up and tell my conscience to be quiet so I can make more room in my consciousness for victories. Victory has a much sweeter sound and it gleams gold in my peripheral vision ;).