The Exoneration of Regret

Would have, Should have, Could have……

To invest into a memory that will only take you down a road that cannot be traveled is futile and counter-productive.  It takes us away from the here and now, and it only impedes our well-being when we give nostalgic cadence to this venture.  Memories are not necessarily bad for us, but if we continue to give energy to a particularly unpleasant memory, if we continue to fuel the abstraction of a once possible reality that has never been, then we are only allowing the dream world to take control over our emotional domains.  We can of course use this to divert our energy to change something in our present lives today, and to that I would say that it would be good motivation to take action in the now which is moving forward and out of our regretful past.  But if we gather these memories on a remorseful platform, then we are only harming ourselves as they reignite bitter pains that haunt us again.  Even after years of such happenings, we can continue to drown ourselves in unnecessary emotional toxic energy that can consume our better natures.

The idea of forgiveness is a very powerful charm against past transgressions or foiled endeavors.  Learning to create another path when one door shuts, is vital to wasted time brewing about something that your mind can tend to let fester if no action is taken.  When our footsteps take on a direction, we sometimes meet obstacles that prevent the path chosen, as we can also stray from our original intent by just the same analogy.  But if we ponder our true resolve and find that we should not give up and continue to try, sooner or later we just may find what we were searching for.  On more occasions than not, we will most likely discover our destiny by chance and accident more than any thought out plan we devise ourselves.

Life is full of fortuitous contingencies.   Much of what comprises our lives are the resulting realities we discover and eventually meet; they are not necessarily the determiners of our fate, but rather, they are just the multitude of circumstances we will find ourselves in.  These are what I call the fortuitous contingencies that populate our existence.  In my experience I have been fortunate enough to benefit from mistakes and miscalculations I’ve made and the mistakes and oversight’s of others by proxy.  But when we act upon something we try to envision, we are an agency working to create much of what can be possible as we engage the world before us.

If we stay static, much of our possible world will never be realized.  We will limit our world, and miss out on opportunities.  If we continue to be static, we may never learn the lesson that it is never too late to change.  It is never too late to take some action that will bring you closer to a goal you may have abandoned some time before.  I know we may all have some regrets, but I also know that we can learn from them and the sooner we dust ourselves off from the fall, the sooner we can once again act upon the world and bring about some different result on the next time around.  If we are to give up, if we are to impose a learned helplessness and become a walking corpse, than we are not living as we ought to be.  We are disrupting our creative forces that can lead us to change and deliver us from a superfluous redundancy in our lives.

Action is the key in our exoneration of our regrets.  If we take action, than we can move forward without giving our scornful selves any energy to use.  Actions taken can absolve us from regret.  Do not let our derisive afterthoughts gain any power over our lives.  The actions we evoke with proper guidance can lead us to new chapters in our lives sans the baggage if we disallow any accumulation.   Live in the moment today, and much of the hesitation will fade away after practice.  I do not mean to suggest that if it feels good than do it.  I am not prescribing a hedonistic philosophy, but rather one that appreciates what is present when one attends to the moment we experience.  If we allow our common sense to guide us, than perhaps we may make some sense out of a wondrous world full of opportunity, surprise, and adventure that would have otherwise been invisible to us.  We can often live too much in the past and in the future without really attending to what is going on now.  How ’bout you?



Kurt Vonnegut

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”

Henry David Thoreau

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
Henry David Thoreau

Charles Dickens

“There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Napoléon Bonaparte

“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

Henry David Thoreau

“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

T.S. Eliot

“No I am not Prince Hamlet nor was meant to be
Am an attendant lord one that will do
To swell a progress start a scene or two
Advise the prince no doubt an easy tool
Deferential glad to be of use
Politic cautious and meticulous
Full of high sentence but a bit obtuse
At times indeed almost ridiculous—
Almost at times the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind Do I dare to eat a peach
I shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us and we drown.”
T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock