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in order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets

11/19/12 , , , , , ,

pretty sure today’s daily prompt conspired with my monday to get me to write this post:

“Set It to Rights”: Think of a time you let something slide, only for it to eat away at you later. Tell us how you’d fix it today.

so my mom’s uncle.  last man standing with the family name.  he lives in brooklyn, right next to the church he once pastored.  a month or so ago, she heard that he was losing his battle with cancer so she wanted us to visit him before he passed.  sing songs, pray, reminisce.  we decided to go on a tuesday, but then tuesday turned into thursday…thursday into sunday…sunday to someday.  putting it off bothered me but bad weather and busyness just got in the way.

what can i do to fix it today?  well, since he died this morning, the obvious answer would be nothing.

even when you think you did the best you could, hindsight asks if you did everything you could.  if you could’ve made more of an effort to make it happen…if your priorities were always as sound as they felt in the moment…

you mess around with hindsight long enough and you’ll meet his cousin regret.  jay-z talks about him in one of my favorite songs “regrets”:

Beads of sweat, second thoughts on my mind
How can I ease the stress and learn to live with these regrets

This is the number one rule for your set
In order to survive gotta learn to live with regrets
And through our travels we get separated, never forget
In order to survive gotta learn to live with regrets

Jay-Z “Regrets”

there are times where you’ll screw something up or things just won’t go your way.  one common response to that is regret.  when left unchecked, regret can bog you down in a way that’s more stressful than productive.  it’s imperative then that, as the lyrics state, you learn to live with it.

how?  a good place to start is this well-traveled prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

accepting the things i cannot change:  regret can fester when we get lost in “possibilities” that in reality, aren’t even possible (now or ever).  in the case with my great-uncle, i can’t do anything to get back those forfeited moments.  i already blew it.  stressing about it flows with the sadness and disappointment, but it doesn’t help really anybody or anything.

courage to change the things i can:  while thinking about what you can’t change, it’s important to also take stock of what you can do something about.  even though it’s too late to truly fix my situation, there are things i can do to fix myself (one offhand would be to constantly make sure that the people & things that i say are priorities get the time and attention they deserve).  doing this takes courage in a sense but also a degree of honesty, responsibility and self-awareness about what needs to be done.

the wisdom to know the difference:  the two actions above must work together in order for you to get over regret.  however, if you happen to mislabel one for the other, you won’t be able to move fully forward.  accepting things that you can change means being comfortable with something less than you’re capable of.  trying to change things you can’t adds unnecessary stress.  neither is good.  to truly progress, you need wisdom to properly discern between the two and then act accordingly.

you might know some of this already and still find yourself regretting things (or doing things that you will regret later).  just remember, knowledge is only good when you apply it and as jay says in the song:

Time waits for no man, can’t turn back the hands
Once it’s too late, gotta learn to live with regrets

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Thought provoking prompt and thoughtful response!

Regret is just a wish you’d done something different. Save it, do tomorrow different than you did the past. The past is a painting, can’t be undone. Hange it on the wall in the living room or hide it in the attic. Tomorrow, now there is something shiny and new. Remember the painting and then do what you need to do.

myatheistlife

11/19/12

nicely put

note

11/19/12

Best take on the prompt I have read yet!

SHAUNA

03/11/15

3 notes

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