That nasty little feeling of disappointment
Monday, September 19, 2016
Probably one of the more damaging feelings one can experience in a lifetime. It's cold and bitter and it can haunt you for years (if you let it). It can eat at you and raise questions that you never thought you could possibly think of, but you do. It can make you assume responsibility where and when you shouldn't...or maybe you should, but still. It sucks. It's a crappy feeling and one that I have spent years trying to avoid in my life because you are told from a very early adult age that regret is not worth experiencing.
"Do the things because you don't want to regret it."
"Go the places so you won't regret later in life not doing them."
"Go to college, get the job, have the kids, marry, buy a house, etc. etc. etc"
All these things I've heard my entire life. Like we live in a world where there is this fear of missing out because if you DON'T do/say/see/feel the things then you will be left with the cold, empty, crappy feelings of neglect. Fear of missing out on doing what everyone else is doing or seeing or experiencing or living.
But it's not about fitting in boxes---these words are just mere statements of experience of someone ELSE who has felt the misguiding feelings associated with regret.
But we all go through it. We all live and learn and draft our future selves based on the experiences we have lived through. Positive, negative, or all the things in between, we know how regret feels not because someone told us how sucky it is but because we have all had a moment where we have inevitably felt it ourselves.
I've had such moments in my life. Almost more than I want to count---and it doesn't make me live in a way as to not have regrets. It's life, it's going to happen. I'm not perfect. Those in my life aren't either. Things won't always go my way and I can say that even if I lived a "YOLO" life, I probably would still have regrets because that is just the reality of being an emotional creature. Of having feelings. Of having expectations. Of being a thinker and a feeler.
But when the regret does creep up, it's a gross feeling. It sits in the pit of my stomach and just eats at me and there is nothing I can do about it other than try to acknowledge those feelings are there and move on because no matter how much I come to terms with what happened, I'll remain disappointed, saddened, and hurt over the situation and the person I regret letting into my life and heart.
Sometimes talking about it helps--it allows the external processing of feelings to be explored and it allows for healing. Sometimes just knowing that regret is a part of life helps as well.
I don't regret being friends with her, my former best friend, but I do regret giving her space in my life that she maybe didn't deserve. And important designations during very pivotal moments in my life (i.e. making her my MOH when I was married). But most of all, I regret knowing that for the rest of my life, she took something from me that I will never get back. Not time, not emotions, not energy. She took a little sliver of my soul that I gave her. A piece of my heart that is just gone and I will never get it back. I will never be able to sew up the space she left vacant and discarded, I just have to bandage the wound and continue to know that even though that piece is gone, I am still whole. I am still me. I am still intact. And even when that feeling of regret stings that wound a little bit, I am reminded of all the beautiful people in my life more deserving of what I give.
Regret. We are so quick to punish ourselves. So quick to let it eat us alive--but you know what, there is more to life than this. I can't imagine trying to live my life without regrets. I dang near think that is impossible and if that was my justification for doing crazy and silly things, I'm certain regret would eventually surface in there somewhere.....my goal isn't to live without regrets---I simply need to learn to not hate myself when I have them.
Peace and love all.