Day 13 – Regrets.
Today’s blog challenge topic is “Do you have regret”…
I have so many – where do I start? I have made so many mistakes, some I am more ashamed of than others. This could be such a long, heart-wrenching post…
Instead of detailing the millions of things I beat myself up for on a daily basis, let me share my biggest regret. And try to be as authentic and raw as I can.
My biggest regret is waste. It is all the time I have wasted in my life because I have been denying or hiding from my mistakes. When I think of the ways the course of my life could have changed had I acknowledged, accepted, and owned the terrible mistakes I was making and the ways they were impacting my life long ago – and done something about them.
All the time wasted and relationships hurt by my making excuses for myself or blaming others. That is my deepest regret. I am 47 years old and while I love who I have become, I do think about all the ‘could have beens’. What a waste.
Some decisions are very short-term and not as significant – I think of all the years as a teenager and young adult, for example, when I struggled with weight problems, because I wouldn’t own the truth that I was extremely indisciplined with my nutrition and I was utterly lazy. I was so unhappy with myself and uncomfortable in my own skin. What a waste ~ I could have done something about it.
Some are bigger and deeper – not having children is another of my biggest regrets – I thought I had so much time. And I was making so many decisions along the way that were selfish, misguided, or unhealthy even – and I thought I had so much time to change those things and have children of my own – later…
Until it was too late. I didn’t ‘fix’ things in time.
We would have been good parents I think.
Its such a sad, painful waste...
So many more things. Some too painful to share.
Business opportunities – wasted. Relationships – wasted.
It hurts my heart now. It really does.
So now, I sit here, in this 47 year old body, still a lot of years left to go, I hope. And as I consider the sadness of regret, I have to find a way to see hope in the darkness of times, people and things lost.
And so I look ahead. To the future. What can I do now. I can’t go back and change the past. How can I change the rest of my years so that I repair the things I can and avoid new regret going forward.
So, last year, when I first started on this journey, I determined that I couldn’t stay focused on the regrets. It wasn’t healthy or productive. So, I committed to examine and re- examine myself going forward. In any and every situation, what was I doing to cause or compound the problem. What could I do to eliminate or fix it. I committed to owning my stuff. And to doing something about it.
Some days, to give you an example, that means in an argument with my husband, I have to fight the instinct to focus on all the ways he is wrong (you mean he is sometimes wrong? 😉 ) and consider how I am wrong. And own it. Accept it. Apologize. Work on my actions and reactions. They say you can’t change others, you can only change yourself. So I work on that.
Or, some days it is acknowledging that I am allowing a fear of something to severely hold me back from moving forward or getting ahead. And I have to fight my fears and force myself to do the thing I think I cannot do. I have become terribly afraid of overpasses and exit ramps, for example. It seriously limits my ability to get around. I either avoid going to certain places on my own altogether or I take these crazy, long circuitous routes to get there.
I grew up in a country full of gorgeous mountains, for God’s sake. I drove myself over Mount Diablo or through Junction in Jamaica countless times at all hours of the night or morning. I don’t know where this fear came from – but I know I need to overcome it.
So, now, I am trying (and I do mean trying – it’s very hard for me) to force myself to take the stupid ramp or exit I am so afraid of. It’s a work in progress.
And I guess that is what life is…
A work in progress. I mean – I know I will still make mistakes. I am not being so ridiculous as to set unrealistic standards for myself. Part of my journey is to accept myself and love myself more.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t be better at some things. It doesn’t mean I can’t improve. You see, I genuinely believe that the best is yet to be. That means I can be me – I can be the best version of me by working on the things I can and loving myself through the process.
So now I go back and apologize.
I address, I correct.
I try to fight fear.
I reject limitations.
I will Live Fierce – because that, my friends, is who God created me to be. Not a person with unseen and unused potential. Rather, a person who embraces her potential and recognizes her weakness – and moves forward. Running towards the prize of being the person He designed so uniquely, towards the purpose He had intended for me all along when He knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Because the best is yet to be – so look out world… I’m coming 🙂
I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
Philippians 3: 14 VOICE