Ever sat all by yourself and wondered why regret is more vicious of the things we did not do than those we did? Well I have. Why do you think this is so? I mean the things we did should be haunting us to the very core of our beings or shouldn’t they? But our minds, in their constructive nature, fixates itself to those chances we didn’t take, those risks we were too afraid to face, those doors of opportunities that opened while we spent too much time looking regretfully at those that closed on our faces, the decisions we took too long to make. A marine (or soldier) would for instance say,
“It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save”. See!
The regrets for the things we didn’t do is just inconsolable. It is that which we regret on our deathbed when chances for return to do them are so slim.
When we give considerable thought to inconsiderate people its not as cruel as not thinking of the people we should’ve thought of. This is because we all do things we desperately wish we could undo. This type of regret becomes a part of who we are. Trying to change that is as similar and as useless as chasing clouds. All we can do is learn lessons from the experiences and move on. It can be tempered with time. The latter gives us desire for what could’ve been, nostalgia for what never was and dissatisfaction for the world’s existence. It gives us regret over not being someone else. Someone that could’ve done things differently. Just to quote Rafael Sabatini;
Regret of neglected opportunity is the worst hell a living soul can inhabit.
It’s the saddest thing in the world to say or write… it might have been…
Someone will always tell us not to brood over our past experiences and failures because that will only fill us with grief, regret and depression and that we don’t repeat them in future. Why is it that they include a past and a future, you think? I think these are the two thieves most of us crucify ourselves between; Regret for the past and fear for the future. Many of us don’t live in the moment. We don’t like being in that narrow alley called ‘the present’. We’re either looking forward to uncertainty or back to regret. Two things that have the power to snatch our happiness. To regret the past is to forfeit the future. Time spent regretting the past, loses the present and consequently risks the future.
Yes! Regret is the weirdest emotion. It comes upon reflection. If it only had immediacy then it’s power would’ve helped influence many events and that would’ve done us lots of good.
When the natural property of grey hairs; regret, takes the place of your dreams, you know what it is that they say?! You’re old! Waste not time over yesterday and worry not about tomorrow. Life just has too much to offer today. I know it’s human nature to want to go back and fix things in the past but that want cannot take us back, its just a wish and if wishes were horses… Accept the pain, cherish the joys, resolve the regrets; then can come the best benedictions.