Monday, October 21, 2013

10/22/13—Living Without Regret

Today's Draw: Six of Swords from the Art of Life tarot. Are you experiencing regret over a decision you've made in your life? Are you imagining how different things could be if you had just chosen differently? What is the payoff for you of time spent in regret?

Some days I'm just not up to the challenge of trying to find something wise to say. For those days, there is the Art of Life tarot. I find the quotes very inspiring. And today's Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is no exception, "For everything you have missed in life, you have gained something else."

One of the things I do well in this lifetime is that I have no regrets. In fact, regret makes no sense to me. Phrases like "I wish I would have done it differently" or "If I had it to do over again, I'd do it differently" drive me batty. I did it the way I did it because that's what I was capable of in that moment. So if I went back to do it over again, which isn't a possibility in my current understanding of the space/time continuum, I would do it the same anyway. Because I did the best I could do with the information I had at the time. And because I believe everything happens for a reason, then there must be a reason I chose the way I did. So every time I start traveling down the road of regret, I get frustrated by thinking anything could have ever been different. My logical mind won't let me go there. 

I think that's what today's card is addressing...regret over something you missed in life. Literally, my mind goes crazy even thinking about that sentence...haha. Anything you ever missed in life was never yours to claim in the first place. There is no "missing" of anything. But for those who don't see things my way, as the card suggests, had you gotten what you missed, you'd have missed out on getting what you have. 

Now I'm confusing even myself...haha. But that makes sense, right? Let's say you regret not marrying your first love. Nothing that has happened in your life since would have happened. So if you married your second love and had three kids with him, then they go poof. Maybe you would have had kids with the other guy...different kids. Or maybe you wouldn't have. Maybe you would have had a more successful marriage with him than the current guy, or maybe you wouldn't have. But the fact remains that the relationship you have now is the only one you were capable of choosing at the time. And your capability at that time can never change. That ship has long since sailed. 

Many of the lessons and opportunities that you've had—the friends you've met, the house you live in, the lifestyle you lead, the honeymoon you had with this guy, the love you shared before everything fell apart, etc.—none of that would have happened. Some of it might have in similar form. But the other option would not have made you the person you are today. It would have made you different. And maybe you don't like the person you are. But the fact remains, you have no idea what you "missed" when you made the choice not to marry your first love. You have no idea what positive or negative effects your marriage to him might have had on him. Sure, maybe he's a rich stockbroker today, but who knows what may have come of him married to you? He might have been so in love with you that he neglected his career. His lack of success could have made him turn to methamphetamine. He could be homeless and covered in sores with you raising the three hellions you had with him alone. You just have no idea. 

So going down the road of regret and missed opportunity and what might have been is a useless exercise. What you REALLY want is everything you have now that you like having, cast in the light of some ideal you imagine from making a different choice, and devoid any negative repercussions. And that's just not how the recipe works. The stupid choices you made 20 years ago were made because you weren't smart enough to choose different...haha. So you HAD to make the choice you did in order to become smart enough not to make it again. 

Instead of having regrets, have gratitude for the choices you did make and what fruit they bore. Because any time spent on regret is not just wasted time, it's a fantasy you're creating in your mind that will just lead to more bad choices because it's not grounded in reality. You have what you have because it's what you need to have. And if you want to change it, you'll just experience more pain hoping to be able to change it through your past with all its attendant "what ifs". The only path to "finding what you missed" exists in grounding yourself in the reality of what is and building upon that with the choices you make in the future. 

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