Regret is that conscientious observer, politely and bravely abstaining from the fight but killing you on the inside as you watch.
Regret is subscribing to the Old News instead of the Daily News. It is the paperboy slapping the most dreadful pile of headlines from the last 10, 20, or 30 years on your porch, a list of things you can’t stop reminding yourself of.
Every day it is there, waiting for you, and you pick it up believing the news will be different. But Regret never sees a new day.
Regret turns us inside out like the washer sometimes twists our clothes. We try to un-wring our lives, but give up, because we deserve this, right? Regret says, “This is how it Should Be, just leave it. You can’t do anything about it now. It’s hopeless. But I’m going to remind you as often as I can, because that’s only fair.“
I know regret is tightly entrenched in my own mind because I can barely even write about it. I can hardly separate in my mind the truth from what I feel.
It could be that as we watch our lives in replay in those that we love, we assume that this is our chance to correct our own mistakes. We take on that guilt all over again. We own it. The pain we feel is for them, but mostly it is for us; the pain of short sightedness, pain of loss, of knowing what could be ahead for those who are on a similar path. Somehow we are responsible for this, even though it is someone else’s life.
We want to help them avoid the same kind of disaster but really we want to feel better about ourselves. Fixing things, even things in other people, would make us feel so much better.
Regret is Self-Preservation; preserve this moment and I can fix it. Must…not …move….on…until I can address this one thing.
Regret depends on Accusation to survive, regardless of whether you did anything wrong or not. The goal is to keep us reviewing old headlines and untwisting impossible knots.
Other fellow mafia brothers with Regret and Accusation include Performance-Based Faith, Shame, and Pride. Expose any one of them and Freedom is waiting.
Instead of being turned guts out to the world, we can live in grace, forgiveness. Living in grace and forgiveness means I humbly admit what I have done wrong and…that’s it. I recognize and grieve the wrong done to me and then….leave it behind. Saying goodbye to regret makes room for joy. Peace. A wring-free life.
Grace gives us fresh eyes to look forward to each new day instead of cringing when the sun comes up. We know that the paper on the porch is nothing but Good News, from our Father.
Let grace do its job. Let forgiveness bring healing. Healing brings joy.
That’s good news.