- Regrets have a purpose.
- They remind me that there was a missed opportunity – to give, to grow, to be.
- But they have a darker side – one that drains joy from the past and undermines confidence in the future.
- I’ve seen the good and bad in regrets – toyed with them, sometimes listened, sometimes ignored, sometimes put on a shelf – then looked at them day after day…reminding myself of them.
- At times, even fed and nurtured them as though they were life, not just part of life…
When kept like pages in a scrapbook, part of the fabric, the lessons, the reminders about life to be aware of in days to come, regrets can be like the funny photos from a family gathering. If the photos were of me, embarrassed to be caught, frozen in that image in time, maybe there was discomfort at the moment. Maybe still a little flash of shame, looking back. But now past, should be funny to see where I was, what I was doing…who I was – at the time. It simply was…but now it need not be.
- That is still the challenge with regrets – to be able to look back, see the humor in the silliness, maybe even stupidity of the moment. But that moment is passed – like a road sign flashing past on the highway. May wish I had gotten a better look at the event as it went by…but now gone, best to keep eyes on the road ahead, future that still remains, not yet passed or determined by past.
- That must be the key! – Hope to recall that brief glimpse of the road sign, hope to recall what it said at that instant in time… but more importantly, to think what it said about the road ahead.
- I found myself recently spending so much thought on the signs I had passed, that I neglected to see the ones that matter now. Not the one that said “five miles to exit”, the one just ahead that says “exit here”.
- Past overwhelming present; “was” distorting “is” and “to be”. Regrets not embraced, not unraveled, not viewed in the context of the tapestry of life as intended to be seen, only from the back side – as work in progress – seeing only the randomness of the colored thread, crossing over, under, seemingly without pattern…or meaning.
- But now I begin to see – the knots that I saw as flaws in the plan were simply the connections that held the threads together while a new section of the larger pattern was woven. The Plan, the pattern not yet revealed, the one only seen when embraced by faith, while the Master Weaver continues the work – that is the final masterpiece to be revealed. And then … revealed … only once it has been completed!
- While in the studio, in the artist’s hand, the final work of art is not intended to be seen and admired. While a yet a work in progress, the final reality exists only in the mind of the artist – that vision of the final glory of completion. But in the imagination of the artist, already as real as the final work on display in gallery, museum, or palace… when it finally becomes “real” to all others.
- Redeeming the past… by living in today
- Now I see… the reality of present (though formed by past) offers new challenges and opportunities.
- Today is the consequence of the past – my past, your past, all of us together – have jointly participated in the creation of today through our past actions.
- If we recognize that we do not find “today” is all we had hoped, dreamed, planned and determined that it should be, then our final redemption for missing the mark can only be realized… in tomorrow.
- Tomorrow begins with what I do today, what I say today, what I think today.
- Though yesterday cannot change by any actions, words, thoughts, and attitudes of today, I know tomorrow can, and must be created by what happens or is initiated today.
- But tomorrow’s reality is created first by the vision of today – clearly seen, fully embraced, then fully acted upon… since tomorrow, as the child of today, will inherit the genetic code of the now.
- So what will tomorrow’s child look like? What traits of today are to be passed along to the offspring of days to come?
- Today allows us to flip through the family album of past and present – to review the heritage that tomorrow carries forward. But we can still choose, for the remainder of today, what traits we wish to pass along to our child of the future. While the Master’s plan holds the genetic predisposition for tomorrow, it is we who must nurture and nourish that child (now in the womb) with how we take care of today.
- Will we stunt the growth and limit the potential of tomorrow’s child with self abuses of today?
- Will we nourish that child with care for body, soul, and spirit in the here and now?
- Will we ignore in today what that child may need for tomorrow, abandoning it to what fate may bring? …Allow tomorrow to be a feral child – raised by the wolves in the wild through living by default?
- So now, I begin those choices myself, trusting the Grand Plan to hold the final result, yet passing along to the child of tomorrow that desired heritage created by what is done, said, planned, thought … in today.
- For my selfish and short sighted actions past, I will do all within my power today to correct, redirect, and mitigate their outcome for the sake of a better tomorrow – for all.
Trusting that all events past (not within my control) have been directed, or at least limited in scope of impact, by the Maker of the Big Plan, I embrace all that was… as preparation, training, guidance, lessons for what is TO BE.
- Acknowledging that I can only help to create tomorrow, yet not fully control it by myself, I can surrender the control of my own fate while doing my part to fulfill it. That is all that is asked of me … or anyone!