Life Through the Retrospectrescope

All that we ought to have

thought and have not thought,

All that we ought to have said, and

have not said,

All that we ought to have done, and

have not done;

 All that we ought not to have thought,

and yet have thought,

All that we ought not to have spoken,

and yet have spoken,

All that we ought not to have done,

and yet have done;

For thoughts, word and works,

pray we, O God, for forgiveness.

 

Persian Prayer

 

Regret is a killer of dreams, joy and possibilities and yet, most of us live our lives looking backward.  It happens in small ways and for many it completely blocks the sun.

 

Often when I work with clients to explore their many options I hear “I couldn’t do that! I don’t know a thing about ____________”, or “Yeah, I would love that but it’s too late.”  Saddest of all is hearing, “I wish I had done___________.” The hand of fear closes doors and possibility evaporates.  

 

Why do we close doors when to keep them open, swinging wide and free would allow so many wonderful possibilities? It is almost always FEAR, and regret is fear’s best friend. When we live in a state of constant apology,  we become victims and victimsbasset hound create excuses not to behave and act differently.

I have a wonderful friend who would have been a star pupil in the Gifted and Talented program in school had there been one back then. Artistic, brilliant, sweet and loving and about one of the nicest people I have ever known, he swims in regret and no matter how many people compliment his work, he simply cannot let that in. Regretful living can protect us from failure because we never risk trying, but at a deep cost to our souls. 

 

Let’s give fear a fair shake though. It has a really crucial job…to keep us safe and OMG, does it ever do that well! When we take it by the hand however, it exacts a price. For that safety and sleeping in our comfort zone, we never fully experience joy.  Not much of a bargain, would you say??

 

It is possible to move from fear to courage and from courage to true joy. You only have to take the first step. 

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