How many doors can we walk through at a time? In my world, I can only go through one door at a time. Why then, do I always have the propensity to choose the closed door?
“When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell
Lucy Maud Montgomery gave us, “Anne of Green Gables,” a wonderful account of a young orphan who insisted on spelling her name, Anne with an “E”. While Ms. Montgomery experienced great literary success, her life was difficult and marked by periods of depression. Her writings reflect her deep understanding of the pleasures of family life and our need for connections within a supportive community. Mistakes will lead to regret, but we have the choice to learn and move on, without taking the extra “regret baggage” along with us.
“We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery
When I was 9 years old, I wanted desperately to climb the tallest tree. But I had (and still have) a problem. I am afraid of heights. To this day, I take a deep breath before going on a downward escalator.
I did climb that tree – crying all the way up the branches. My friend, Carol, who went ahead of me, begged, cajoled, and encouraged me all the way to the top.
I’ll always remember that tree, but I will never forget that I had help! No regrets…
“The mistakes I’ve made are dead to me. But I can’t take back the things I never did.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
I love quotes. Over the years, I used them to keep me focused during my busy daily routine. My computer, my desk, my fridge and my mirrors have one thing in common – they bear sticky notes with a thought or reflection. I admit that I am a “thought hoarder.” I do not seek a cure, for the joy of hoarding ideas is too exhilarating to give up.
This past week, I have been thinking about what keeps us from moving forward. The first word that came to me was: regret. It seems to be a human frailty. Yet, it has the potential power to build resilience and fortitude. Regret reminds us that time is finite – that what we say, or do not say, makes a difference, that what we do or do not do has consequences. Embracing regret is not wallowing in self-pity. Rather, it is about saying that today, I will begin again.
This coming week, LadyBudd will explore my favourite quotes on regret. I invite you to join the dialogue.
“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other path, no other way, no day but today.”
― Jonathan Larson, Rent