No regrets [Sunday, Mar. 30, 2008, 2:39 pm]
There are times when I have been skeptical hearing people proclaim that, after all that they have been through in life, they have íno regrets.í Sometimes I wonder how itís possible to arrive at that place. The way I see it, to truly live and then look back and claim to have no regrets would mean that either, a). youíve never done anything regret-worthy, b) you have done regret-worthy things, but choose not to focus on them, or c). you have no distinction between right and wrong, and so nothing feels regret-worthy anyway.
I suppose b is what I would consider the healthiest way to look at it, if done correctly. I certainly have some regrets in life - maybe pathetic ones, but Iíve still done bad things and made choices that probably werenít the best to make at the time - so how could I look back and say I have no regrets for any of it?
Sometimes I think the distinction lies in the way we look at the past, not in the way we wish it had turned out. I can look back and say "Iím not perfect and Iíve made mistakes, and so I have a bunch of regrets piled up that I try not to think about but canít really avoid," or I can say "Iím not perfect and Iíve made mistakes, but Iíve dealt with those mistakes productively, and therefore I have no regrets about the place Iím in now." I think maybe thatís what this "no regrets" declaration is about - not so much in overlooking the mistakes youíve made, but in learning from them and appreciating who you are because of the experience. It doesnít have to be the same thing as rationalizing the mistakes, or making excuses and pretending they didnít happen.
So in that sense, yes, I think that having no regrets is a decent goal to aim for. Not perfection, rationalization, or moral relativity, but rather acceptance - realizing that the things that happened, as ignoble as they may be, are already past, and that I wouldnít be who I am now without them. So really, itís not what the regrets do to you - itís what you do with them. Iíve often thought about this topic, but I think itís helped me to organize it in writing this way - it makes more sense to me now.
And on that note, I must confess that I often write for the sake of getting something out, or organizing my thoughts. I realize looking back that a lot of my entries are about problems Iím having, or things Iím unsure of or insecure about, and sometimes Iím afraid I come across as maybe a little emotionally unstable in the world of blogging. Admittedly, sometimes when Iím dealing with something thatís really very specific and donít feel I can talk about it specifically, Iíll instead talk about more general and idealistic problems that relate to it - so Iím not really having huge identity crises all the time. I really hope thatís not how things appear, because I would like to think that Iím on a rather even keel for the most part, emotionally - in fact, perhaps this is why - because Iím able to write things out, I donít go berserk in real life :-D Iím not saying Iím never insecure in person - I am sometimes - but I donít go around wailing and bemoaning the pressures of life the way I do here. So if I sound pathetic and repeat myself a lot, I apologize. This is just my way of dealing with pressure sometimes - I show it here so I can release it, and thus (hopefully) not show it everywhere else.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009