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Regrets: Guilt that grows heavier as the years pass

What I’ve noticed a lot, is people feel a lot of regret, especially career-driven folks.

Most of the regret, comes with not spending enough time with family, or things you wish you didn’t say or do in the past.

…but all of that is useless if you don’t change the future that comes.

If you keep saying to yourself:

I wish I spent more time with my family, I missed all of their growing, formative years because I’ve been working so much

…the time to change is now.

You have made this choice for whatever reason.

You are working 3 jobs, sleeping 7 hours a night, all to feed your family and put a roof over their heads. This is something YOU decided.

You can either stop feeling guilty about it and say:

You know what? I am doing this because I want to for my family, and it is MY choice.

No, I am not regretting any of this.

Or you can say:

Tomorrow, I start seeing where and I can find more time to spend with them, and what I can change to make it happen.

Maybe what you’re doing is simply spending too much money, so you feel the need to continue to work like a dog to try and keep up with your spending.

Instead, why not focus on making a budget, and cutting back your expenses to the point where you can work a comfortable amount of time, and have time to spend with your family?

Either way, it is a choice that YOU made, so don’t try and blame it on anything else because you have set a priority either consciously or subconsciously, and you’re following through.

One day, the time will come when those regrets build up if you don’t make peace with them, and will become a solid boulder on your chest, weighing heavily on your conscience until the day you die.

REGRETS ON YOUR DEATHBED

The most personal story I have to reflect regrets, is on my grandfather’s deathbed, he asked for my grandmother’s forgiveness for all the times he ever laid his fists on her in anger during their marriage.

He regretted it deeply, and he begged her with tears in his eyes to forgive him. She said she could see that he had been carrying that mental weight around for years.

She looked him straight in the eyes and said:

No. I don’t forgive you, and I never will.

You won’t be getting that kind of peace from me before you leave this world.

..and he died a day later with that weight on his chest.

She told me this later, when she was about to die, and told me that her most precious advice was to never ever settle for anyone less than whom I deserve.

I asked her if she regretted anything, and she said she didn’t because she did what she had to and leave her situation, and it worked out well in the end because she had her children and grandchildren.

‘We all make choices, and we can always change them’, she said.

 

10 Comments

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Thanks for sharing a very poignant story. The one thing I always try to remember about unforgiveness is when somebody told me that “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and then expecting the other person to die.” Forgiveness, at least for me, always helps me to heal faster and better than holding on to the hurts. Not that you can’t still learn from them, though. Good post, Mochimac.

  • Pauline

    Your grandma was some strong woman. I think I would have told the man I forgive him, then regretted it! Although I am trying to let go of forced commitments and live life for myself, face to face confrontation is still a struggle.

  • Michelle

    Excellent advice from your grandma. I don’t know if I would be able to do that because I forgive too easily…

    I’m one of those people that regret a lot for doing things, so I made peace with it by blogging to my younger self about the things I should do or shouldn’t do. lol… it’s silly, but it helps me feel better.

  • Gen Y

    Thank you for sharing your grandparents’ story, it really left me pondering.
    I guess in life, ultimately, you make your decisions and live with them (or learn to).
    Personally, I find that to avoid regrets, it’s very important to periodically (if not constantly) reflect on your life and where it’s going. For me, I got complacent, then woke up one day and realize I don’t really like my life. But the good news is there’s never a better time for change than NOW.

  • cj

    Great twist in this story with your grandparents. Powerful stuff there. Tammy and I will die without regrets because we do what we want and we love what we do. The alternative is to be very, very sorry when we are old and wish that we had done the things we wanted most to do.

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