A good friend recently confided that they had behaved in such a way as to hurt someone’s feelings. My friend told me how ashamed they were of their actions, and how ashamed they still are. The thing is, this happened over fifty years ago. My friend has been carrying this shame and guilt around ever since. Naturally, this got me to thinking of my own regrets.
We’ve all got them, those thoughtless things we said or did in our youth that somehow caused pain to someone else. When I was in high school the cafeteria food was not what you’d call delicious. So, someone came up with the bright idea of boycotting lunch. The idea caught on and word quickly spread throughout the school. My problem was that my Grandma worked in the cafeteria and faced with a choice of risking embarrassment among my peers or insulting my Grandma, I made the wrong choice. Of course, as Grandmas do she forgave me but I’ve never completely forgiven myself. However, I have learned to accept my regret for what it is.
Our regrets are working tools given to us by the Supreme Architect to help us sculpt our ashlar into that perfect square. Life is full of working tools and we are who we are and who we will become through the use of these tools. I learned a valuable lesson the day I looked into my Grandma’s eyes and saw the hurt that I had caused, and I did my best never to cause her pain again.
Regrets are an unavoidable part of living. So use your regrets. Accept them for the tool that they are and use them to chip away the gallets and polish out the imperfections. Make amends when you can and know that the penitent heart will be forgiven.