Night has fallen, candles have been lit; the peace of the Sabbath descends upon my home. Yesterday’s rainstorm has passed by and tomorrow’s snow is not yet here. I stand in the moment – darkness and light are both present.
I pulled a card from Sudie Rakusin’s Journey deck for our oracle this evening. Védõszent Visszamondás ~ the Hungarian Saint of Regrets.
While there is a place for regret in our lives, we forget too often that place is only temporary – a placeholder perhaps until we’re ready to move on. Regret is a blend of sadness, guilt, self-reproach with a little spice of its own thrown in to the mixture. All of these are natural, emotional responses to the combination of an experience within our personal belief system.
Let’s say we’re out walking together with a group of friends. One of us steps on a bug and depending of what we believe about bugs, about killing bugs, about ahimsa/nonviolence – we may feel regret, or relief, or nothing at all.
The etymology of the words brings us back in time to Old French ~ to lament the dead. When we are feeling remorse – we are lamenting what has passed – a relationship, an opportunity, a path not taken in the moment.
When we experience an emotion, we have a 90 second window after the initial trigger. We can open that window wide and invite in any other emotion that is similar to our feelings after that experience – after that initial trigger – those emotions will fill the room, and our lives, until we deal with it. Or, we can acknowledge the trigger, the emotion, and close the window – keeping it discrete and manageable.
Regret over “what could have been” can be like a small sigh where you take a deep breath and let it all go. Or, it can be an anguished frenzy of weeping. I’m not going to insult you by saying “it’s your choice” if you don’t actually have the tools to choose the sigh over the weeping. But, I will say, “you can learn the tools that empower you toward the choice.”
When my husband died, four months after we married in an unexplained scuba diving accident, I had a lot of regret. It wasn’t a sigh. I didn’t take the 90 second window. It was years of sadness, guilt, and self-reproach. Was I with him at the time? No. Could I have changed the situation? No.
Life happens. We experience it, we mourn, we heal, and we integrate it all into the whole of who we are. It took me a long time to heal. Too long? Who can say? I am who I am today because of the journey I chose to take in order to understand and integrate.
I’m sure each of us has a list of things that cause use to feel regret. Take a look at that list and decide which ones you’re ready to let go of and which ones you’d rather hold on to. Take some time to wonder about the difference. And look to see what practical spiritual tools you have to help you move on. If you don’t – send me a note. I’ll write it up in the Q&A section of the blog. I’m here to share my skills, knowledge, and understanding with you. Don’t hesitate to ask.
I offer one-time readings or longer term spiritual mentoring.
Please get in touch if you are interested in working with me.
Together, we can explore new directions for your life.
In addition to her Journey deck, Sudie Rakusin also has coloring books
for big (and little) girls!