Regret is a funny thing. Many of us have them and wish we didn’t. Many of us may even fear and avoid them, or convince ourselves lIke a mantra meant to soothe, “I have no regrets, just life lessons”. Here is what we do know, regret is not often paired with a happy occurrence, regret is often paired with a painful loss and a belief that it could have been different. Perhaps it’s true. I think what I’ve learned most from my regrets is how accurately human I am, and despite age and wisdom, experience and anticipation, I will always do something that may one day cause regret. So what does regret give me, if it’s not something I can avoid? Can I compost it somehow and turn it into something rich to feed my life or others?
Regret gives us our stories. Regret gives us our humility and our humanity. It reminds us that suffering is universal, that each of us has done, said, or been something we wish never happened. To be loved and forgiven, despite our actions, is the highest form of humanity, and with that love I can carry my own burden of regret, and help others carry theirs by sheer compassion, solidarity, and knowing.
In the watery depths of regret, there can be healing, and it all begins with sharing our stories, and the vulnerability of truth behind those stories. So share them. Share your regrets, tell your truth, and surrender the pain knowing it’s never been about fixing or changing the truth, but seeing our humanness and forgiving ourselves for it.