One of the things people often talk about is, at the end of their lives, to not have any regrets. They want their life to be lived in such a way as to feel no regret. While understandable and noble indeed, it is setting an impossible expectation for our lives. Regret is inevitable.
I have a friend who did not have any children during her childbearing years, and now that that time has passed, often feels regret around Mother’s Day for missing the opportunity of that unique experience of love and relationship. She not only feels the loss and regret, but also psychically beats herself up for not having designed her life better to include being a mother.
We all have our own big and small versions of something that passed us by and is now too late to do. I always wanted to fly like a bird. I thought hang gliding would be as close to that experience as possible for a human without real wings. After several plans to do it earlier in my life fell through, I finally went hang gliding a few years ago. An afternoon of training made it clear that I had waited too long—my body was no longer able to handle the rigors of the sport.
While we aim to honor the longings and desires in our heart by doing those things that bring us the most pleasure, we cannot do it all. Inevitably things will not get done, people who we may want to develop relationships with will not end up a part of our live, goals that we set for ourselves will not all be achieved, idealized adventures will fall short.
When the recognition comes that all cannot and will not happen as we had envisioned, the tendency is to blame others or ourselves for the shortfall. It is a very loving response at times like these to remember to be gentle, kind and forgiving to others and ourselves.
We are co-creators of our realty, which the emphasis on “co”. There are many situations, turns of events, people’s responses that are simply out of our control no matter how much we may try to control them.
To let go, accept and allow what is to be here, brings peace to our hearts and mind. Feelings of disappointment, let down and regret will come, but through acceptance, gentleness, forgiveness and allowing, they will pass right through and make room for new possibilities of relationships, goals and adventures.
May you find peace in your heart and mind.
All the best~
Diane Ingram, PCC
Speaker, Author, Life and Leadership Coach