Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Regret vs. Remorse
Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone! - Saito (Inception)
In my last post, I mentioned that I do not have any regret in my life. That is because everything that has happened has happened for a reason. I do not live in the past in order to find solace or answers because my life is what it is. I know that my experience have shaped me into who I am right now. The question that I got yesterday was...do I feel remorseful for all that has gone wrong? Well, yes I do. But, there is a difference between remorse and regret.
If I regretted anything then that would make it very hard to live for the moment and plan goals for the future the way I do. Remorse is more of feeling bad due to a sense of loss. Trust me, I lost a lot. I have lost a marriage and a certain way of life. That itself was so hard to deal with for such a long time but, all things get better with time. It is my opinion that regretting the end of my marriage would mean regretting getting being married.
I am a culmination of my experiences. A total of my decisions made and not made. I cannot think about "what ifs" because there is no point. Of course, there is the fantasizing of what could have been, but many times that may hinder life in the moment. Perhaps it is better to just believe there are millions of parallel earths where anything that could have happened does happen. Which means that the reality that we live in right now is the one we need to deal with.
I do not want to live a life of regret. That would just not be the way to go. We all have peaks and valleys in our experiences. A life without issues would frankly be boring. There is nothing to learn if we did not have stress to overcome. It is ok to remorseful for a loss of a love, a loss of a job, or a loss of a dog (I still think about Rusty and I still, to this day, cry just a little bit...). But regret? Where does that get me?
I love the fact that I have had the experience I have had. I have been in love so many times and have had my heart broken many times. I have lived through the horror of 9/11 first hand. I have survived rolling my car and totaling it. I have seen the beauty of a glorious sunset in places that are not in this country. I have pulled people from a car wreck. I have let people cry in my arms and I have cried in others. How can I regret living a life that allows me to express my emotion through writing?
I am not saying I do not have a heavy heart. I love hard. I just could never love right. I am trying to use every last bit of experience to do things the right way. So, I can love my family the right way, so I can love Rocky the right way, so I can love the next woman the right way, and maybe...just maybe..if I get lucky enough, I can love a child the right way.
See, I cannot regret my past. Everything and everyone has played a critical role in my life to get me where I am today. So that I can love myself and have the courage to go out and get what I want from life. So I do feel remorse for what was, but I cannot let that feeling own me because then that would lead to regret for what could have been.
I am not saying that I need to forget the past but I refuse to let it own me.
"I miss you more than I can bear, but we had our time together. I have to let you go." - Cobb (Inception)