Long time no see folks!! Been busy with other things. Thought might catch up. So, today let’s talk about regrets. The word speaks for itself, I mean, ‘regret‘, who doesn’t have some, right? This leads me to think about why I started this blog in the first place. Here’s a simple “shot” as I like to call it.
" Your life is your own story. Even with the fullstops, the story keeps on going "
You’ll be able to relate to the above shot, once you read through the following. Now, back to our topic.
Regret .. Regret .. Regret. If you start making a list, it will never end. Our life is solely based on regrets. However, regret is not a stand-alone feeling. It’s a reciprocating effect. It comes hand in hand with one of the more complex emotions. ‘Desire‘. In layman’s terms, if you don’t have a desire for it, you won’t have regrets for it. Pretty simple, right? Well, not that simple it seems. To put it simply a human being is not in control of his/her emotions. The more you try to suppress an emotion, the more it pops out to the surface, along with other reciprocating effects.
Why do we regret?
As I said earlier, the list is never-ending. People have all kinds of thoughts going through their minds and unfortunately, we can’t comprehend them all. Speaking from my personal experience, there is some common ground though. Let’s start as a child. You are in a toy shop with your parents and they are buying you one toy. You pick something, and you all go home. The next day you see your friend with a better toy and instantly you regret buying the one you did. The scenario is insignificant if seen from an adult’s perspective, but there’s a lot to learn here. See how the process worked. You desired something, you got it, but seeing something better made you regret getting what you did. Now read the previous line again. Some of you might still be wondering how a toy is related to your troubles and regret. Well, hear me out then. I took an example of a child because that is the closest you can get to how an actual human being’s mind works. Still not getting it, huh? Well, don’t schlep, keep reading.
The core of all the troubles you are or might be going through starts with emotions. Now, think carefully. When you are experiencing extreme emotion, maybe depressed or supper happy or angrier than hulk, does your mind ever come into the picture? Let me rephrase that question. Do you allow your mind to come into the picture? Think for a few minutes and answer for yourself. Obviously no. When we are going through such heavy emotions, our mind is thrown out of the window. However, you will still try to have control over it, your mind will tell you that you should have control over it, but in the end, you won’t have any control.
Now let’s get back to the kid with the toy. That little angel does not have a fully developed or what we call a grown mind. When that child feels an emotion, there is no mind to tell him to have control over it. See? The kid doesn’t have that tug of war like you do inside your head. He just feels the emotion and acts instinctively. So that’s why if you want to see a clear picture of how emotion affects you as a being, you see that in a child. A child will display emotion and won’t think about it. This is exactly what happens with adults, given they do try to control their emotions but as I said, in the end, it’s all the same.
Moving on, as an adult you still will feel extreme emotions and you too will act instinctively. As I said, you will have desires and if those are not met, they will turn into regrets.
Real life scenarios
Let’s look at some examples which may help you connect the dots between desire and regrets. These are examples taken from my own life, so I hope you won’t judge and just see them as a learning experience for yourself.
So, I did not have a good relationship with my father, but I did respect him. He was strict with me and I would end up getting scolded from time to time. Fast forward a bit. I lost my dad when I was 11. Now when I have grown up so much, 24 btw, I regret not getting to know him as I could have. I wish I can just ask him a thousand questions and he would answer them for me. I wish I could see what was troubling him. But now it’s not possible. Now I am only left with regrets. You see, back when I had no desire of trying to know my father more thoroughly there wasn’t a shred of regret. It came into the picture when I could not do all that and at the same time, I have a desire to do so.
Let’s take another example. When I was in school and college I did take everything for granted. I was a bright student, but I never cared for studies as such. I did not have any thought on my mind regarding my career, my life, or anything. That was the most crucial time of my life and I wasted it trying to entertain myself with materialistic pleasure. At that time in life, I had no desire of getting successful or becoming a billionaire. Now when I look back, I see the time I wasted on meaningless chores I only have regret with me and no time machine to go back to 2014. It’s not like I’m not doing good. But it could have been exponentially better. See? That’s not me speaking, it’s the regret in my heart.
How to get past your regrets?
Some of you may regret breaking your friend’s heart, some may regret not giving time to family………. Endless. But now, the million-dollar question. Is there any way past it? Well, if I say yes I would be contradicting everything that I said above about desire and regret being extreme emotions, and humans are unable to control such emotions. Does that mean are we helpless? Are we, as human beings, bound to this endless cycle of desire and regret?
If one thing history has taught us is that we persevere. When I say “we”, I mean me, you, everyone. When born as a Homosapien i.e human, we are blessed and at the same time cursed with the gift of emotions. If it’s a curse or blessing, each individual is left to decide for himself. Speaking for myself, as an individual, I have countless regrets. I used to be sad and depressed when I thought about it. Now, not so much. So, what changed? Did I travel back in time and fulfill all my desires? NO, duh. Did I somehow delete these regrettable memories from my mind? Not unless we are in the Matrix, haha. So what did I do? Nothing actually. I simply started seeing them for what they really are. And what is that I see? I don’t see regrets, I see my life as a river and these regrets are nothing but pebbles floating around. These so-called pebbles are only around because of what choices I made. The river turns, bends, falls, or floods, all on its own accord. Each turn brings in more pebbles but that doesn’t stop the river from flowing now, does it? Similarly, every choice you make will reflect upon your flowing past like pebbles in a river. And just like this river, your life will still keep going on. I do paint a picture lol.
Be the river. The choices you make are your own. The regrets that pile up are your own. But the river is still flowing……..
I do sound like an old philosopher sometimes. haha. Still, I am no philosopher. I haven’t seen every aspect of life yet. I can only share what I have experienced and learned. This whole blog is not for you to just accept and agree upon. It’s for you to see a certain perspective and decide for yourself from your own experiences if you’d like to agree with me and this blog. Ciao