Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way.
Familiar words from the old Frank Sinatra song… A few of us last night were talking about ‘living with regret’. Some didn’t identify with Frank’s ‘regrets… too few to mention.’
Musing on last night’s discussion, my journey, my own mistakes and regrets…
Reflection: I look back with honesty… successes and failures, words and actions, emotions and fears, joys and pressures, relationships, family, church work…
Recognition: I recognise that I’ve made mistakes, made bad choices, hurt others, done wrong things, spoken unkindly or unwisely. I take full responsibility.
I also recognise that a lot of stuff was out of my control… bad choices that others have made, an accident, illness, bereavement… It wasn’t my fault
Repair: I put right what I can. Damaged relationships can be repaired, debts can be repaid, It may involve an open confession, a public or private forgiveness, a difficult discussion to bring closure.
Repair may involve reconciliation with another person, forgiving and accepting myself, or relating in a new way to my God.
Re-engage: I can’t stay in the past. I must re-engage with my life now.
I re-engage with myself – my opportunities, gifts and imperfections, recommitted to compassion, faith, justice, hope… I re-engage with those around me and with my God – to be the best ‘me’ I can be today.
Reward: I realise that somehow God was with me; he was there in all of the bad things in my life.
I discover that as I move forward my failures, mistakes and scars have changed me for good. I’m more patient and tolerant. I have more empathy and understanding. Alongside my regrets comes a new gratitude to others and to my God.