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I don’t know about you but, I do the same thing at the end of every year!  Unfortunately, this includes waxing a little sad.  You see, it’s that time again.  It’s time for me to review the outgoing year, with as much honesty as I can muster!!  From the negative to the positive, I try to take an objective look in my mirror and assess what I have accomplished, who I have hurt, what I could have done better, etc!!

Yes, I said “try” because all you can do is try.  Mind you, I don’t beat up on myself or anything like that.  But, if I am minimally honest, I normally need to issue at least two to three apologies!

With any luck, the recipients will be unreachable!  LOL!

In the event that they are reachable, I contact them and just get it over with as quickly as possible.

Admittedly, apologies don’t come easy for me.  I guess if we are even remotely honest, not many people like to apologize.  We’d rather be the recipient of an apology.  However, I have found out it can be very medicinal, humbling and cleansing to your soul.

I try to tread lightly since I never know how the recipient of my apology is going to respond. Sometimes, the recipient didn’t even anticipate an apology from me at all.  Sometimes, I have to remind the individual of what happened and why I am apologizing—which somewhat diminishes either my remaining guilt or the impact of the groveling.  Other times, they are extremely grateful because I took the lead.  Occasionally, my apology is not accepted.

Sometimes, the individual I contact owes me an apology too.  Sometimes—if I’m very lucky—they reciprocate.  Sometimes—more often than not—they don’t.   Sometimes a friendship is saved.  Sometimes, a relationship is lost.  Whatever the outcome, I try to remember that I am only responsible for my half of any relationship.

So, I do it.  I apologize.  I do this not because I am a martyr, but because I just gotta be happy with myself.  I guess my reasons for apologizing are somewhat selfish.  You see, I gotta be able to respect who I am.  I gotta be able to close out yet another year without dragging the old year into the new one.  I gotta be able to close out the year without further ado and without regrets.

At the end of the day, I wanna be able to look in that mirror—gotta be able to look into that mirror—so, at the very least, I can review the coming year with less and less to apologize for.  Maybe next year, I’ll be calling just to say Hello!

Can anybody hear me?

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Each of us has a moment in our lives where we demonstrate bravery in the face of a very difficult situation.  Still, there are those other moments that haunt us long after the situation has ended. You know, the ones that make you continue to kick yourself over and over again for not having the courage to deal with a particular situation and/or person when they were blatantly and/or publicly disrespecting you or someone you love.  Years after the fact, you wished you had punched them or, at the very least, leveled them with harsh words.

Instead, you just stood there or, even worse, cried.  Ten, twenty, thirty or more years later, you still have not lived it down.  Even if there is no one around who witnessed or even remembers the incident, you just can’t move forward.  Simply stated, you want a do-over.  You want a chance to do or say all the things you said in your mind two-hours later when you got home.  You want a chance to do or say all the things you told everyone you had already said or done during the encounter but, in reality, had not.

Take comfort.  You are not alone.  Most of us regret our lack of action and/or proper response in one situation or another on any given day.  Try to remember that true courage is not found in treating every battle the same or returning fire even to a well deserved villain.  Sometimes, it comes from being able to move forward even when it is painful to do so.  Let it go.  Move on.  Sometimes, real courage is found by simply walking away.  Can anybody hear me?