Often in Life, we forget the things we should remember and remember the things we should forget – Unknown
As an eternal optimist, someone who strives to see the bright side of everything and someone who is eternally grateful for the Journey that is my Life, I have a confession to make.
Many who think they know me and my outlook on Life may be surprised by my confession.
I must confess that for the many things I have been blessed to experience, I have regrets that I have carried for a long time.
Most of us have regrets but we hide them behind a brave facade of “I don’t regret a single thing in my Life”, “I have turned every difficulty into success”, “I don’t see problems, I see challenges”, etc.
Yeah ..… right.
Back in 2001, I had an opportunity to have potentially prevented someone from being in a position to be killed and I didn’t fight hard enough to prevent it. As a result, this individual ended up in a place where he shouldn’t have been, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I also had the opportunity many times to get together with this same person who was always reaching out to see me but I constantly turned down the invitations because I was “too busy”.
By the time I finally accepted Narender Nath’s invitation to get together for lunch the next day, it was the afternoon of Monday, September 10th, 2001.
Less than 24 hours later, it was too late to honor his invitation.
I have danced with the knowledge of his loss for years, oscillating between feeling grateful for having known him and feeling torn that I should have done more to have prevented him from being on the impact floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on the fateful morning of 9/11.
For people who try to coach myself and others out of our regrets, it is easy to offer lines such as :
We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us. - Lucy Maud Montgomery
Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. - C. S. Lewis
There was nothing you could have done.
It was not your fault.
It was fate.
It was God’s way.
Insert pithy platitude here.
The truth is that we must come to our own terms with our regret as only we know what we are feeling and what in our emotional baggage has tied the regret to how we perceive ourselves and the world.
As the years went by ….
Over the years, I thought I had learned the lessons I needed to learn from this event and was doing my best to live the lessons learned.
But then a call came in from long-time (35+ year) friend, Christopher Richardson.
Christopher is a talented producer and director at Henge Productions, an organization that creates amazing documentary and television programs including the powerful documentary Where’s My Goat? Spoiler alert (or maybe it’s a warning): Documentaries that can mist up the eyes of this 6’3” Wall St. tough guy are powerful.
Well ….. I say ”mist up”. We tough guys cry in private when no one is looking. :-)
Christopher was exploring the subject of regrets in his Life and the lives of others and wanted to know if I would be willing to go on camera to revisit the regrets I had struggled with regarding Narender. The film was to be entitled … wait for it …. “Regret”.
“Sure”, I thought. “I haven’t had an opportunity to rip the scab off that mental wound in a while”.
What followed provided a powerful opportunity for those of us who participated to revisit and relearn (or learn anew) the power that our regrets hold over us – both positive and negative.
Many of us had an opportunity to cry again as we relived our pain.
But we had an opportunity for something else as well.
What was that opportunity?
Regrets can create anchors that weigh you down forever or they can create insight that reveals your greatest potential.
The choice is yours.
Which do you choose?
If you have regrets or know someone who struggles with them, check out Christopher Richardson’s powerful, riveting documentary Regret. If you don’t have regrets or have never had them, Wayne Dyer and the Dalai Lama are looking for new presentation partners – call them immediately to sign up.
Regrets, like many of Life’s lessons, are better explored with the help, the shoulder and the company of others and the film Regret is no different.
Regret will create many questions within you and yes, it may rip scabs off a few of your own wounds. It will force you to contemplate what you can live with and what you can die without.
But it may answer a few questions as well and offer a powerful salve for those wounds.
Trust me …. you won’t regret the Journey.
In service and servanthood,
I was intrigued by the poster for the movie Regret – sharing ….
Addendum – September 19, 2013
At the close of voting at the Atlantic Film Festival, the film Regret took the honor as the highest rated film at the event as determined by the Atlantic Film Festival audience. :-)