I love you people. You are reason books and blogs are written. You are the ones who sit in 12 step meetings, kneel in churches, temples, and synagogs. You have refused, even when bone weary tired, to give up and surrender to a life of panic, pain, and dis-ease. You are mighty and magical, even though I know, there are many days you feel defeated. I joined your tribe some years ago. Never have I found a more worthy cause than that of moving deeper and deeper into Love.
Sometimes in the beginning, what is actually surrender, feels like regret.
A man came to see me. (He had recently joined our tribe). He was profoundly in love with a woman who had slipped away from him, almost without his knowing, as he dove deeper and deeper into his alcoholism. Now, newly sober, tears fell from his eyes as he looked at me and said, “I just didn’t see it. I REGRET that I didn’t listen to her. She knew.”
The more he talked I realized he was sitting in the midst of swampy waters trying to choose which way to turn his small boat. It was there that we talked of what regret really is.
One could easily assume that regret is a posture of wishing. I wish I had done something differently than I did it. I wish I had not walked away from him. I wish I had not let her go. I wish I had made time for children. I wish I had taken a different job. I wish……….
However, that is the deception of regret, the way it traps us. It feels as benign as a wish, when in fact it is much much darker. Regret is not a posture of wishing, but a relationship with non-existence.
“That drink,” the man said, “I regret taking it.” But he had taken it. It had happened. And the regret was him holding hands with a reality that never existed. There wasn’t until now a drink he didn’t take. So to imagine himself not taking that drink and longing for such a story to be real was literally him going to war with “what is”. Regret not being opposed him in battle, but instead being the force of insanity behind him that pushed him forward into battle.
Imagine someone suffering from delusions, fighting with a person that isn’t there, hitting and swatting at the air, that, is what regret does. It is a battlefield whose only outcome is insanity.
Now, here’s the thing of it, regret has but one goal, to keep you glued to a false reality and therefore to create and assurance that you will never fully live in the reality of right now. So, take the cloak of regret off. Go burn it. Let the ashes rise like a prayer to Heaven and come back into the now. You will be much more effecting at loving God, yourself, and others if you are here and now and sane.
What happened, happened. (Can someone please make that into a t-shirt.) It’s over. Let us be with what is. We are here. We made it. We really could not have done it any differently than we did. Because, at the time, we were where we were. We had the information we had, the pain, the brokenness. With all of that we made choices that were our best choices at the time. Today, we can make a different choice.
Its normal to be seduced by regret when you join the tribe of seekers. You are part of a powerful tribe and Regret would like to keep you in your tent, longing for a false reality. But, “come out, come out, wherever you are…” and gather around the fire that burns in the midst of your people. Join in the dance, the prayer, the supper, the celebration of life that is right now.