i think for obvious reasons, my post for tuesday was not posted. but, i intended to continue my tuesdays with morgan thoughts, and today, the birthday of the man who gifted ashwin the book tuesdays with morrie, seems as good a day as any to do so. so lets talk instead about feeling sorry for yourself (2) and regrets (3). yes. that will be sure to lighten things up a bit 😉
.the second tuesday we talk about feeling sorry for yourself.
morrie schwartz was dying. not just in the way that we’re all dying, but with a rapidly advancing neurological condition that worked its way up from his feet, all the while with perfect mental clarity to understand and process what was happening to him. his independence was slowly stripped. he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t eat normal foods, eventually, he couldn’t wipe his own ass (a cornerstone of independence big daddy has since validated). he had every reason a man could have to feel sorry for himself.
“i give myself a good cry if i need it. but then i concentrate on all the good things still in my life,” he said. there are two key elements that i think are critical to this approach. the first is about an attitude of gratitude. when we are thankful for what we have, we lose steam to worry about what we might not. when we focus on those things already enriching our lives, we may even realize the other things we thought we wanted aren’t necessary for peace and happiness. this realization is essential. but the other part is just as essential. sometimes it’s ok to cry. in fact sometimes you have to. being gracious is not always or even usually our first response, and that’s ok. it is rather something we must work to consciously reaffirm on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. how much time do we waste wallowing in the sadness of the things we don’t have… and how much time do we waste not giving ourselves the time and space to be properly devastated when the situation warrants. the feeling is there regardless. if we don’t bring it out, we can’t wash it away. so don’t not let it happen. but set a time limit, and then fare forward.
.the third tuesday we talk about regrets.
nov. 8: if you could redo one moment in your life, what would it be and why? how would it change who you are now? this was the prompt for the blogher challenge 3 days ago when i was supposed to be writing this entry. convenient timing, since i was going to be addressing the topic anyway.
so i looked up the definition of regret, and it turns out that it means “a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do.” i was about to say that the truth is, i think i might be a little unusual when it comes to regret, because i never feel it. but when i read that definition, maybe i’m more unusual because i don’t know the definition of regret 🙂 i have definitely felt these feelings, sometimes quite strongly. but i have never wanted to go back and change something, which is the caveat that i usually associated with my definition of regret. “i really regret X, if only i could…” nope, i don’t ever feel that way for more than a few minutes. and that’s because i really believe that “there are no mistakes in life, only lessons.” morrie says, “accept the past as the past without denying or discarding it.”
almost all of my regrets come from something i did or didn’t do that ended up hurting or disappointing someone else, or myself. some are completely within myself; i regret telling a lie that nobody else knows about, because it’s not in line with who i want to be or who i think i am. and i’ll feel sad about that. but honestly, every time i have this feeling, it’s a big kick in the pants to never do something that would trigger feeling it again. and that really helps. i, like every human being ever i’m pretty sure, am a learn by doing person. nobody else can tell me don’t because that’s going to break your heart. i dive in anyway, and my heart sometimes gets broken, and i learn. sometimes it’s awfully slow, but it happens, and i am grateful for every misstep because i was able to discover a better way to find my balance going forward.
maybe it’s because i’m always worrying forward due to my anxiety that i never have the time for worrying backward. i am never the person who says “i wish i was still [in high school, a kid, at that old job, in that old relationship…].” i recognize enough good things about my life in the present, that might not have come to be were it not for my life in the past, that i am generally quite happy where i find myself. not to mention, if i was still in a situation that wasn’t right or wasn’t meant to last, then i haven’t learned the lesson yet. no thanks.
so the answer to the prompt is, i wouldn’t. i have given myself the time to cry when i needed to, and now i am faring forward. i don’t feel sorry for myself. i don’t regret anything. not feeling those things isn’t a permanent condition, but, neither is feeling them. for now i’m just happy i made it through this blog without relating everything to politics. i thought about it though 🙂