Mistakes. We all make them. But I now see that some of us get stuck in regret over our mistakes (whether real or perceived) and can’t seem to get out. For those that do, regret expands into a constant, low, dark-gray cloud and brings with it self-doubt. The cloud then casts a gloom over every hour of every day. Every interaction is affected by it, every decision is weighted by it, every move is prolonged by it.
It is exhausting both for the individual and for every person who interacts with them.
But saddest of all, the heart of these people, the true courageous heart, goes into hiding because it rarely gets to glimpse the joy which comes from freedom of conscience.
Hearts need to feel joy and freedom. They also need to feel courageous from time to time.
A person living in regret is not a person alive at all. They are stooped, limping, distracted, constantly looking for a fix, something or someone to cover their hurt and make them feel better about themselves. They are ever disengaged, constantly weighted and distracted by a part of themselves which feels uncontrollable and ugly.
And regret cares nothing for people, their hearts, their capabilities, or their gifts. In fact it delights in their demise. It loves to dagger the heart, whispering of constant wretched, imperfect holes.
Michelangelo, after carving his infamous marble sculpture of David, was asked how he saw David in the plain block of stone which he started with. He replied, “I simply chipped away at all the pieces that weren’t David.”
We all long for a Michelangelo to do this for us. Chip away at the pieces of life which we don’t need to carry anymore. The regret, the shame. “You don’t need to think that way,” chip, chip, chip.
But that’s not quite how it works.
We are in charge of our own thoughts and therefore we are the only ones who can proactively chip away at the regret, the fear, and the lies which fill our minds. No one else can do the chipping or letting go for us.
I do know this, a life lived full of regret is not a full life. It is not an enjoyable life either, and I believe we were meant to have both a full and enjoyable life.
How about starting your chipping process today.
Photo Credit: Richard Carter via Compfight cc