Thursday, April 10, 2014
Regret and Guilt
“Guilt is regret for what we’ve done. Regret is guilt for what we didn’t do.” I have been thinking a lot about regret and guilt lately. The two go hand-in-hand. You really have to be careful not to dwell too long on either. And, you have to be careful about your relationships with others. I have found myself feeling both regretful and guilty over what I didn't do with Lizzie or what I did do but shouldn't have. I want to make excuses. I want to blame someone else. I want to point out the flaws in others so I don't feel so badly. What I have found is blaming others or highlighting their flaws does nothing to remove my personal regret or guilt. It just destroys that relationship with the other person. In the loss of a loved one - a dear friend, a sister, a confidant - we hurt. The pain can become so unbearable that we want others to hurt just a badly. (insert Steel Magnolias reference.) We all want our own Wheezer to hit. And, as lamented in country music, misery loves company. Or does it? Does misery love company, or does the misery make the company miserable? The problem with misery loving company is that the misery just might run the company off. When we choose to blame others - choose to tell others where they have failed - we are really trying to assuage our own guilt. We must recognize what we are doing or risk tainting the memory of our loved one. I think back over the past couple of years, and there's a lot of "should of, would of, could of's". Who am I kidding? I can look back over the past 19 years and see the "should of, would of, could of's" Do I sit with my misery and wallow in my guilt, or do I make a conscious effort to make different decisions? Do I continue to blame others, or do I treasure my friendships? I choose to make different decisions. I choose to treasure my friendships. I choose to understand that my regret and my guilt are just that - mine. Blaming someone else will do nothing to ease the pain.