Nov 12 2012

No Regrets

Published by at 11:12 am under Life/Death,What Is

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No Regrets

We’re not so different, you know. Many of us have different coloured skin, different ethnic backgrounds, larger or smaller families, more or fewer friends, a larger or smaller bank balance, etc., etc., etc., but underneath that external ‘stuff,’ we all have similar fears, wounds, trials and tribulations, challenges, and successes… yes, even successes, although we often don’t give ourselves credit for them!

What we also have in common is that we all have regrets. We all have memories of doing something we wish we’d done differently. We would all like to relive certain life experiences, or NOT said what we did, but the bottom line is:

We all do the best we know HOW, with what we know NOW.

‘Now’ is this precise moment – or a past moment when we made whatever choice we made that we judge to be ‘wrong.’ Isn’t that what regrets are? Don’t we think, If only I’d done or said this, or that, or whatever… things would be sooooo different?

It’s time to stop beating ourselves up when we don’t measure up to some preconceived image of what we think we should do, or who we think we should be. Let’s give our self a break because when we know better, we DO better!

My eldest daughter was born when I was twenty years old – far too young to be having children – at least I believe so now! My husband and I had immigrated to Canada a few short months earlier. We were in a new country, with new responsibilities, and no family and few friends for support.

I have no doubt there were many things I did ‘wrong’ in raising my daughter. I was young and inexperienced; my family was miles away across the Atlantic; I was living with an abusive alcoholic with all the attendant woes; I felt powerless… a victim.

Do you think I did things differently when I later had my other two children?

Of course I did!

Apart from anything else, I was older and more mature and, of course, child rearing had changed somewhat during the thirteen year interval. I was more experienced and, because I knew better, I did better. If I was to raise a child now (many years later), I would do it all differently again. But that’s because I know more now and I know better.

Does that mean I did it all ‘wrong’ the first time? Compared to what I know now, yes, I did. But the fact remains, I didn’t know any better at the time. I did the best I knew how with what I knew in that ‘now.’ And that’s all anyone can ever expect… of their self and of others.

Given the opportunity, our parents would probably change a great deal about how they raised us, but they didn’t know differently at the time, so they couldn’t do differently. There’s no point in holding grudges or withholding forgiveness for what happened in the past. There’s no point in blaming or having regrets. All it does is disturb our peace of mind and prevent us from feeling joy in the present moment.

Besides, I firmly believe that we experience every event in our life for a reason. In his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle says:

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.

No matter what you are going through, no matter what life ‘throws’ at you, it is ALWAYS perfect.

Take just one event from your life that you regret and judge to be ‘bad.’ Follow that memory and become aware of everything that happened as a result of that event and I’m sure you’ll agree that something ‘good’ came out of it.

I’ll give you an example: As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I was married to an alcoholic and we immigrated to Canada when we were very young. The marriage was abusive, but as a result of us moving to Canada, my sister followed and shortly afterwards met the man she married. They have been together for almost forty years now and have been very happily married ever since.

Would they have met if my husband and I hadn’t immigrated? Who knows?

But apart from that, by finding the courage to finally leave that abusive marriage, I began my journey to becoming the independent woman I am today and that’s definitely good. Prior to that, I was a needy, co-dependent individual with little or no self-confidence. I honestly thought I couldn’t survive without a man! Can you believe it?

Being a single parent was extremely difficult, but as a result of my decision, I became self-reliant and learned that a woman is capable of doing almost anything a man can do… and some things she can actually do better! Consequently, my eldest daughter has adopted a similar philosophy and has proved herself to be a very capable woman too!

Who could ask for more. I definitely don’t have any regrets!

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