Friday, December 3, 2010

The Precious Gift of Regret

The much revered Madame Piaf excepted, we feel it is safe to assume that everyone over the age of, let's say, five has at least one regret. A few of us have even managed to amass fairly impressive collections thereof.* (Many of which, it seems, have been unfortunately recorded for posterity via various forms of media. Let the blackmail begin!)

While it is perfectly reasonable to regret certain actions or experiences in your past, it would be a tragic error to regret having regrets.

Rather than something shameful that should be hidden, regrets are actually perverse signs of personal growth. The person who has nothing to regret is living either an extraordinarily fortunate life or an entirely unexamined one. Regret is the result of having learned from your mistakes, be they errors of action or inaction. To actively regret the missteps of your past is to safeguard your future. Those things you regret about your past make you a smarter, stronger, better person today.

The regret is a also reminder that you have been blessed with the opportunity for second chances or to make amends. It means you're still here, that you've managed to survive your own stupidity. You have the ability and the chance to learn and to grow. The regrets of your past add promise to your future.

Today's exercise: Embrace those memories that make you grimace or blush. They've also made you better.

Next: Our beautiful blue marble

*Contrary to what people will warn you before you acquire them, my piercings and tattoos do not number among my many regrets. They are, instead, the very finest of my sexy scars.

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