If you could predict the consequences of your actions, how many of those actions would you choose to take?
If your response is, “I wouldn’t change anything, I have no regrets” I’d say you’re full of shit. Why? Because too many people proclaim this as a dodge.
A dodge from discussing how they truly feel (e.g. guilt, sadness, grief, anger) and try to convince themselves they’re above having any kind of baggage.
Another reason they claim this is because they like to think they have they’re shit together and enjoy reminding people how they have no regrets, blah, blah, blah as though that’s how they’ve always handled things.
If there was no process you went through from decision, to consequence, to learning and growing then you didn’t learn shit!
I’m not saying every consequence requires painful introspection with gallons of tears. Some consequences may be, “Yikes, I’m never doing that again” and that’s enough to remind you to avoid it in the future.
I’m also mindful that each person has a different set of internal and external resources for managing stress. Where one person’s mountain is another’s molehill.
Now consider how often we scold our children for not thinking or speaking before they act. What the hell do you expect, they’re kids not clairvoyant.
Making mistakes is how they learn, it’s how everyone learns. Somewhere we decided that wasn’t acceptable so we beat them and ourselves up for it. Pretty messed up isn’t it.
I honestly would have said, “PASS” to many relationships and opportunities if I would’ve known how they’d turn out.
Some took me years to begin seeing the value of those experiences. Hear that insurance companies, not every problem can be solved in 10 sessions – fuck you!
I’m 50 years old and feel like I’ve grown more in the past 10 years than the previous 40. Of course, I’ve had the benefit of the lessons and tools acquired during the previous 40 years which makes certain kinds of risks feel safer to take because they’re familiar.
But unless you’re living in a militantly maintained comfort zone (which most of you are), then you’re still taking risks and discovering that what you don’t know far exceeds what you do. And it’s okay to not know. It keeps life from becoming boring.
I have many reasons I share so openly and the big one is FEAR! I’m so exhausted from a lifetime spent in fear of someone finding out I don’t have my shit together. You know what I’ve learned. not just as an idea, but finally as a truth in my heart.
Anyone who pretends they have their shit together, has always lived without regrets is living in fear of criticism, disappointment, rejection, you name it.
Do you have this fear? Sucks huh! But it isn’t your destiny to stay that way.
I’m sick and tired of being afraid. But no one gave me permission to be fearless. They told me to do it, threw a few clever quotes my way but none of them modeled it.
I got sick of waiting around for others to step up so I said, “Fuck it, I guess this will be my next adventure.”
It’s been more Mad Max than Indiana Jones and no Light sabers
I remind the folks in my membership group and myself that risks are necessary to challenge and disprove your fears. Fears often acquired as a child you forgot to go back and question. Instead you remained afraid.
You need a safe place to do that kind of work to finally be free of that crap. I provide that space for those up to the challenge.
The pay off is increased happiness when you realize how to be more compassionate to yourself and others who are doing their best. It is so worth it. Hard work, and worth it.