Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Regrets

The other morning I was fumbling around on my iPad scrolling through my Twitter timeline and saw an interesting quote from an “author unknown”. It read, “If you carry bricks from your past relationships to the new one, you will build the same house.” I can’t tell you how many times I have done this in the past and should have looked back (hindsight 20/20 type of deal) and said, “Not again!” Instead, I ran around the same mountain over and over and over again. It’s like the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I do believe Einstein quoted that, but someone challenged me on that insisting that it was Benjamin Franklin. Anyway, all of these quotes and sayings are very inspiring and rings true on many levels, but how many people will listen and actually put them into reality? Sometimes I read a quote and nod in agreement while being in an opposite scenario. I’m human, but I’m a human who makes mistakes and ‘tries’ to learn from them. Most of the time, the one common denominator that everyone carries along with them to some degree is the feeling of guilt. They either have regrets or they feel guilty for what they did in the past. As my wife put it so brilliantly: “Take guilt, put it in a bag and shoot it.”

For me, guilt separates me from God. It makes me feel “too guilty” to pray or to delve into my spirituality. “I have no right,” I tell myself, as though God’s furious with me. But when you really think about it -- God knows that we’re all human and we’re bound to make mistakes. The guilt is something the devil wedges in between you and God. Guilt, fear, anxiety and depression are all emotions that separate us from our spirituality (God). It distracts us and makes us feel unworthy of God’s presence, but that’s the time when you want to be closest with God and admit to your shortcomings. I had a hard time trying to grasp this idea, but once I finally stepped out of the box and looked in - I can understand and accept that God loves me the way I am: messy, sinful, irritable, etc., etc., etc.... God loves his messy creations and doesn’t expect you to be perfect. Don’t get me wrong - having a decent conscience is a gift of God, because as we all know, there are many sociopaths running rampant and those who just don’t care about other people’s feelings. I’m talking about past wrongs you have done that are still haunting you today as well as mistakes made today. Guilt is like a cruel punishment we give to ourselves.

Have you ever had anyone ask you what your regrets were in life? I’m sure many people would have a list of things they would say, but realistically, wouldn’t all of those “regrets” build the type of person (or character) of who we are today? If we didn’t have “regrets”, we probably would have still been tossing around the same mistakes. We really shouldn’t have any regrets, because the mistakes of yesterday have made us into better people today. --“I wish I never met him/her”, “I wish I never told her that”, “I wish I could have been there more when my child was younger” “I wish I was a better parent back then” - I wish I wish I wish. Stop. Make it count now. There’s an old Japanese saying, “Failure teaches success” -- so if you think you failed at being a good parent, a good friend a good wife or husband, or even a good person in general -- whatever the guilt trip is coming from, just remember that success comes when we make enough mistakes. Now get outa' here & stop making feel guilty for writing such a mushy piece.

“I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work” ~Thomas Alva Edison

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

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