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Regret


Lady in wheat field head down contemplating

Oxford Dictionary:

noun

  1. a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.


Reading this definition I had to pause. The words that felt incongruent and not in alignment for me were "happened or been". They imply something that actually happened.


It is true that if you do something stupid, wild, rude or out of place you may feel pangs of regret. However that probably is more a correction point. Something you don't want to do again. A learning.


This week I fly to Pennsylvania for two memorial services for my aunts, Merry Lou and Marla Lee. They were twins. November 29, 2023 they would have celebrated their 90th birthdays. Instead we gather to honor their lives.


I grew up very close to their children, my cousins. I purchased a card and have been running through memories in my brain for ideas on what to write to each family about their mom. Memories I have of my aunts and how each touched my life; my first ride on a rope tow skiing, my first go at pealing potatoes that ending with a few nicks and cuts, sending us out to play in the rain, summers days at the pool of the local Howard Johnson's. As I was contemplating, my thoughts brought me to wondering about regret.


Many who are nearing the end of their earthly journey have shared a different kind of regret. Not the dumb, youthful, bold or even a moral faux paux's of their past. Those are things they didn't enjoy experiencing and have little desire to repeat, but this is not the regret that comes up for them as they are looking back on their life's journey.


The regret they speak of is the regret of things they wish they had done.

Opportunities not taken. Kind words unshared. Time not spent with ones they loved.


And things they were too afraid to try. I wish I had painted. I wish I had the courage to sing. I wish I would have tried to play "that" sport. I wish I had acted on the stage. I wish I had volunteered. I wish I had written that book. I wish I had shared my clothing designs. I wish I had shared my wisdom with others.


What would have happened if I had had the courage? Being afraid was so silly. I wish I would have tried.


What are you too afraid to try? Is there something you came to share, do or be that you haven't found the courage to do? Is there something that you would love to share, but are too busy taking care of others? Is there a calling inside that your ego is telling you to ignore?

What would you do if the not-good-enoughs weren't stopping you?

What came to mind for you reading this? I'd love to know. Comment below.


Kathryn Gorham

Purple Door Entrepreneur


P.S. Don't just let this post be another tab left open in your browser of life. Play with these musings. Let them be the nudge you need to paint your own canvas of possibilities with a palette of courage and a dash of whimsy. Who knows? They might just be the spark that ignites a more colorful and fulfilling journey. Now, go on, dip your toe into the sea of 'what if' and make some waves!


P.S.S. Earth is a schoolroom where we came to play and learn. We also came to teach. What did you come to teach? What did you come to share?




4 Comments


a.greywitt
a.greywitt
Nov 06, 2023

Kathryn,


Lovely post on regret. I made a conscious effort years ago (nearly 30 now ) to make choices in my life where I could live from a place of love, faith, trust, and truth where I had no regrets. The words and actions in my life were guided by how I felt in my heart. If I fell down, I lifted back up and forgave more easily...myself and others. I love more deeply. I share myself honestly.


I didn't want to look back on my life and say, "why did I do or say that or why didn't I try that which scared me?" I learned quite recently the words sacred and scared are the same letters. What scared…

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Kathryn Gorham
Kathryn Gorham
Nov 06, 2023
Replying to

Great life choice. Constant course correction.


Love the sacred and scared. You can go deep into that one.

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Susan Gold
Susan Gold
Nov 06, 2023

Hey Kathryn - Great topic for this moment in time. Love your way on the transitions of your aunts, and I'm grateful you have so many positive and visceral memories of them, including the Howard Johnson's swimming pool. Though I've taken risks to explore desires, there are still a few left to potentially regret and I'm grateful for your message. Big love!

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Replying to

You are loved. You are love. Let it shine. You have so much to teach and share.


I love you. Can't wait to see where you are led to next.

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