- Posted October 2, 2013 by
Regret? The Long Story And Beyond
By Kenneth Stepp
I realized today that most of us live with regret about a decision we made. Maybe a lot of them. So I thought I would unpack that.
The last time I thought about regret, was when my friend Dan Rieland spoke about it at 12Stone Church one Sunday morning. His lesson was titled "Living without regret". At this point in my life, I am still unsure that is attainable. But I do the best I can.
I have regrets. But they seem for me at least, to be in a couple of different categories. One is a short term regret. You know, you wish you had chosen a different movie, not bought sushi from a gas station, or not signed onto that website. Then there is the long term regret. These are the ones that get you on a more permanent level. I really wish they didn't, but they remain in your life and work their way into every little place you have in the mind body and soul.
Today I was reminded of the one regret in my life that has always been there. Yes, love. Giving one's heart away is a funny thing. The romantic love it was packaged in becomes an intense, never ending love that has grown into what it should have been in the first place. Real, unconditional love. True love. The kind that greeting cards talk about, but most never experience. I've had that before. I know what that feels like.
Regrets have one interesting quality. You wish you could go back in time and make that decision all over again. That never happens of course. But fantasizing about it is fun sometime. Kind of like when you buy a lotto ticket and think about what 300 million is after taxes. Fun? Yes indeedy. But at least for me. I never buy a ticket. Yet still find myself thinking about how it would be to win. Not sure how sane that one is.
I believe we will always find something we regret. Always. Call it the human condition. And generally nothing can be done. Seldom can things like this move from regret to "we did it!" Suck it up America. It's a new day. And I'm going to enjoy it. You should too.