40 Lessons at 40: Lesson #33

40 Lessons at 40

Lesson #33

By Venus Souls

I’ve been trying to come up with a list of all the things I’ve regretted doing but every time I do that, I end up with a list of things I have regretted not doing. Because even the foolish things I did were fruitful in some ways. But how could things you didn’t do bear any fruit?

 I hear people often say they have no regrets. How could this be possible? If you fail to regret you will never learn from your failures. Regret means growth. It means self compassion and giving yourself a second and a hundredth chance to do better. In the past, my ego was too proud to admit that I did wrong and would brush the failure to one side and continue as if nothing had happened. Growing up meant becoming more conscious and accountable, I had to sit down and take an inventory of my regrets. With compassion, I tell myself: If I knew better, I would have done better. With determination I say: how can I learn from these regrettable mistakes? This is the only way to learn from failures and make sure we don’t waste more time making the same ugly mistakes over and over again.

If I were to die tonight, here are some of the things I would regret (I’ve had to limit them to 50 otherwise I’d be here all day) and the things which I have fixed but still wish I could do better:

“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.”

Soren Kierkegaard

  1. I regret not taking more pictures and videos of my children growing up. I should have taken at least one photo per day (note to self: take a photo a day and sneak in a video a week).
  2. I regret not saying ‘no’ more often to people who would have never valued my effort nor my time.
  3. I regret not paying attention to what my gifts are
  4. I regret following the crowd even briefly.
  5. I regret being too careful and not taking enough risks
  6. I regret giving some people a tenth chance.
  7. I regret not being true to myself.
  8. I regret not reading more books and teaching myself to speed read
  9. I regret believing the marriage fairytale (except it brought me my kids so I’m grateful for that)
  10. I regret taking up smoking.
  11. I regret betraying myself and others even when I was well intentioned
  12. I regret doubting and second guessing myself
  13. I regret not travelling more
  14. I regret not telling my parents enough how much I love them
  15. I regret not taking up or studying art
  16. I regret not spending more time with animals
  17. I regret not spending more time with friends and family
  18. I regret thinking that we could fix our country by fixing our politics and politicians
  19. I regret not living in the moment often enough
  20. I regret not consistently keeping a journal
  21. I regret not writing as often as I should have
  22. I regret the times I wished to be invisible because I was too afraid to shine
  23. I regret the times when my faith wavered
  24. I regret the times when I did not surrender
  25. I regret not being more present with my sons
  26. I regret wasting so much time and energy on pleasing some people
  27. I regret suffering fools
  28. I regret not giving some people the benefit of the doubt
  29. I regret not creating more art
  30. I regret not helping enough, not empowering enough, not reaching out enough
  31. I regret not giving enough love and compassion to others and waiting for them to ask for it.
  32. I regret not learning to play a musical instrument
  33. I regret not learning another language
  34. I regret judging people
  35. I regret not drinking enough water
  36. I regret not getting creative in the kitchen
  37. I regret not exercising my creativity often enough
  38. I regret not learning how to dive or sail
  39. I regret not climbing mountains
  40. I regret not doing more for charity
  41. I regret not allowing myself to be more silly
  42. I regret taking things too seriously at times
  43. I regret taking so long to forgive people
  44. I regret listening to my ego
  45. I regret anger when I should have been more understanding
  46. I regret expecting a return on love when mine should have been unconditional
  47. I regret not being naughty enough at school!
  48. I regret giving up on my favourite sports in adulthood
  49. I regret choosing consumerism over creation
  50. I regret not speaking up anyway when my voice was trembling
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Posted by thesoulsurgeon

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