The idea was to write about rejection and self-rejection but the entire 30mnts I sat down to write the only thing that popped up was the word regret!! So finally, I gave up and decided to address that issue first.
To regret could be to mourn the loss or death, it could mean to miss very much or it could be to experience regret.
What is experiencing regret? I know for one, that it is a negative cognitive emotional state where we blame ourselves for a bad outcome. Well but isn’t that taking responsibility for our choices. Maybe one could have chosen the other option. Sometimes I think of all the words of mice and men, the saddest one is might have been.
Regret like anger is tough teacher. The individual can choose to ruminate and slip into a state of chronic stress that damages mind and body or it can be the point of refocusing, repair and re-invention.
Regret is often treated like the eight sin… but it is it… one thing I realized somewhere we need to understand the who we are when we are devested of the social, education, economic and then understand what inspires our choices. I might want to venture into starting my own business, but financial needs might put me in a place of having to have a steady job. But this is deviation from our personal aspiration. Understanding what has driven us towards that particular choice will also give us the way to find a place where both that is our aspiration and our environmental necessities are met.
When we understand that we are unwilling to pay the price of the certain choice that we make, then we are absolved of the regret of that action, or the choice. Buddhist philosophy has a beautiful concept, it is that at the moment I do not have the required energy for this action, the energy could be a skill, knowledge, finance or external situation. The regret now transforms to a place where can either look at alternates or decide to alter the destination.
Failure to live up to our self-set ideal brings on great regret. This is a disappointment that grows, gradually, each time the milestone moves further until it gets submerged then when least expected pops up. It manifests as dissatisfaction, a sense of being not good enough and all these in turn causes a failure of meeting our aspirations or goals.
The key to this unblocking is not regret, but understanding the choice and now finding a way to allow for the submerged to emerge either as part of the existing career or as a hobby.
à quote what if… the best way to over come the what if, is to try it out. Like this particular patient of mine loved to travel, but social constrains limited her, she joined a group in Bangalore that said just go… and every week, they began with 1hr. of heritage walk, and eventually now she does travel frequently. She still finds time for the various demands that her family makes and the family has also learnt to accommodate her interest.
In my case my daughter suggested that when I travelled for them, that is their entrance exams, counselling or times they were sick and they needed me, to utilize that time to do explore places.
Maybe step one is what is the worst thing that can happen if you did what you would like do? Are you game for that? What is the alternate? In the same space.
Think of this nothing resolves the inability to stay awake better than a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing. One can like on the bed and it goes on auto replay. Yes, there is also a mild regret of the paths that one chose not take and people whose life we did not touch. More than regret this would be wistfulness.
Look at me in my face… my name is Might-Have Been, and I’m also called no more… or too late… its time to wake up or it will be farewell.