Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Life Is An Oprah Episode - Regret, Remorse, Forgiveness, Holding on and Letting Go

The title of this posting is a mouthful, but, I believe Regret, Remorse, Forgiveness, Holding On and Letting Go are interwoven.

It's easy to get lost in endless speculation. So today, release the need to know why things happen as they do. Instead, ask for the insight to recognize what you're meant to learn."
-Caroline Myss

I love Tapestries.  If someone were to weave a Tapestry of my life, I would want only a small corner to be reflective of any negative experiences I have had.  But,  truthfully,  my personal history threads would be woven, colorfully, with both light and dark throughout the piece.  I used to think that some people escaped darkness in their lives.  You know, no family crisis, no financial issues,  no broken romances, no health issues, etc.  But, as I matured, I have come to know that no one is immune to life tragedies.  Our experiences are different for sure, but the key is how we manage the downside; of how we see  light reflected in the darkness.  Think of a stained-glass window.  In the daytime, we see light streaming through exhibiting all the bright colors that tell a story within that window.  When is is nighttime, or in darkness, we look at the same window, only to search for a glimmer of light which will only come  from the inside.   I know what I have always known - that whatever point we are in our life, whether light or dark, things always work out for the best.  We are exactly where we are supposed to me, this very moment, with who we are supposed to be with, or who we are not supposed to be with.  It is that simple.

Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. - Illusions by Richard Bach

Regret.  I think we all want to live a life without regret.  I have said this a million times.  The truth is regret is nothing more than human nature wishing we made a different decision. While some choices we make have minimal consequences if things do not turn out the way we want them to, many choices are life-altering.  I have always been decisive and have little tolerance, or rather, patience, for those who take forever making a decision; for those afflicted with  analysis paralysis.  Drives me crazy.  One of the things that I regret is that I did not write sooner.  I have always had words locked in my head, yet I was afraid to free them; fear of not being heard (or read) or because the words were scattered and always looking for a path.  Pursuing a career in journalism was too daunting; I had not developed skills necessary nor the discipline to simply complete tasks.  Case in point, I have two unfinished books.  Regret is constant.

Remorse.  The difference between regret and remorse is the sorrow that follows a choice we wish we did not make.  And, usually the choice we made is shameful or has hurt someone.  Even ourselves.  I have given considerable thought to this; what am I remorseful about?  Remorse is very much aligned with guilt and self-resentment. I  am a kind person and I try not to judge people.  For me, to be simplistic,  I always feel shame when I judge someone harshly or if I am ever unkind.  It happens when I am stressed or feeling less than.  My words can be biting; my tolerance for what I consider stupidity, becomes taxing.  I am a work in progress.

Forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not just acknowledging someone who has wronged/hurt us by accepting their apology.  In some cases there is no apology.  It is about letting go of the anger and resentment we feel for their actions, and more than is about wishing them well.  I struggle with forgiveness, yet know for sure, it is the only way to live a healthy life. In the past few years, I searched for ways to forgive.  How do I forgive the person who raped me?  What about those who lied and cheated on me? The person who owed me a huge sum of money?   How do I forgive myself? Family members, workplace,...hurts on many different levels.  In my mind I had forgiven these things because I had accepted what happened and moved on.  But, that is not forgiveness; I had not really wished anyone well and still held on to a lot of the pain.  I discovered a technique I used about a year ago.  I imagined all those who hurt me; who caused me great pain and sorrow, all standing around in a large circle together, arms interlocking, all holding balloons.  When the moment came, I set them all free, attached to the balloons rising in the sky, disappearing into the abyss.  All with good wishes.  It may seem childish, but, I assure you, this exercise worked for me.  Forgive.  It is the only way to be free.  

Holding on and Letting Go.  Life is a series of letting go.  Of people, of places and of things.  Holding on is simply staying stuck when we should let go.  No where is this more evident than in relationships.  Or would be relationships.  I have said this before - that I have held on to bad relationships longer than I should have, and let go of good ones sooner than I should have.  I was involved with someone for many years and it was a dead end relationship.  What began as a friendship for several years, ended up as a love affair. We had great times, but, the fact was, he was married, so it was a dead end.  I do not write this with a sense of pride, nor with shame, and that may be difficult for some to understand.  I may write about it in another blog, and, I am not searching for judgement.  For now, it is just the facts.  I held on to the relationship for a long time.  I loved him; I did not analyze it every time we were together.  It ended more than once, but, finally I let go. Without tears, because, it was time.  It does not mean I do not think of him, and miss him, but, it is done.

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. 
But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. - Illusions by Richard Bach.

I am glad to be back blogging.  Life got in the way.  Until next time.