I often think about the good old days and the days I remember with feelings of regret.
People surrounding you, the ones you do not get to see, may often have an idea about you somewhat far from the truth.
People find you strong because they know your story. You are still standing and, that is how a strong person prove itself. At least according to them.
You had no choice but to move forward. You accomplished almost everything you dreamed of. That is great, but it is not the total picture of who you are and the regrets you carry in the deepest parts of your heart.
We have created a facade from the life we want everyone to see, although behind closed doors we take the mask off. (Very much like the reality these days). In our private rooms, we allow the real us to stand up. It is understandable. We do not want pity or murmurings.
We put on our best smile at work, in front of friends and, church events. No one cares about your story. Why would you tell? That is our mentality and in many instances we are correct. Very few people have time to hear or be interested in what you need to say.
When they ask you in the morning; how are you doing? It is just a greeting, please go on and say that you are okay. There is no time to sit down and chat about your situation, your drama, or your feelings. That only brings them exasperation.
Why I find myself writing about things that happened long ago? I believe some of those memories haunted me as regrets until recently. Thank the Lord for a breakthrough! Thinking and pondering about the reasons and the root of many of my issues I learned it is all too common for many of us.
I regret not taking my father to get the mail without complaining, or not understanding my mother when she did not have time for me. She was busy and I could not see it until I raised my kids. A kid has an infinity of free time. You do not notice it then, but you did not have time for your parents either. You wanted your needs to be met. Yes, you were selfish when you were young.
How did you change when you became a parent? Maybe we did not change much at all. Too busy, too preoccupied about the responsibilities. A little selfish in our free time. I wanted to do my things; cooking, cleaning, crafting and, be at church every Sunday.
I took the kids camping, we fished, enjoyed vacations and many other things. I was not as busy as my parents working at the farm. Then again, time seemed never to be enough to meet the little ones’ requests.
I wish I had put my chores to the side and spend more time hugging and playing. Now they are grown, with families and careers on their own. We are close, we share, and we love each other. No doubt our relationship is good, but sometimes I wish I could do it all over again and changed how I allocated my time when they were little.
I find myself telling them to pay attention to the matters I missed while raising them. I am afraid they will regret not spending precious time with their kids as I sometimes did when raising them. I found the courage to asked them for forgiveness in case I ever lacked on showing them love or affection. You are alright, they say with a smile.
I am intentional these days in how I interact and find ways to give them time and affection. Maybe I will make up for some of the time I missed when I was younger and eager to accomplish my desires, passions, and things I wanted to learn.
Writing about my feelings allowed me to cry, think, evaluate and, understand those feelings a little better. I needed to forgive myself, just as I need to understand and forgive others. I cannot change the past, but I can start afresh. We all made mistakes, and we will make them again. It is life and not perfect.
Asking someone for forgiveness does not mean that you will get it. Do your due diligence and let time bring reconciliation if it is the time to happen. Get your heart right with yourself and with God. Living with regrets is debilitating and counterproductive. Express who you are and let your feelings show.
Do not hold your compliments, your words of encouragement, or expressing love. If you do, you may have missed a precious opportunity. I know I did, and it took me a long time to forgive myself.
Be blessed and free of regrets.