Jonathan Larson (USA, 1960-1996): No Day But Today, RENT
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.
1. What do you most regret in your life?
2. How does regret color your memories?
3. How is regret like mourning?
Brene Brown (USA, 1965- )
I’ve found regret to be one of the most powerful emotional reminders that change and growth are necessary. In fact, I’ve come to believe that regret is a kind of package deal: A function of empathy, it’s a call to courage and a path toward wisdom.
Like all emotions, regret can be used constructively or destructively, but the wholesale dismissal of regret is wrongheaded and dangerous. “No regrets” doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection.
To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life. I’m not suggesting that we have to live with regret, but I do think it’s important to allow ourselves to experience and feel it.
Bronnie Ware, author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying (Australia, 1960- )
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik (Belarus/USA, 1903-1993) - Mishkan HaNefesh
Sin is not to be forgotten, blotted out or cast into the depths of the sea. On the contrary, sin has to be remembered. It is the memory of sin that releases the power within the inner depths of the soul of the penitent to do greater things than ever before.
Rabbi Harold Schulweis (USA, 1925-2014)
It’s never too late
to change my mind
to say “no” to the past
and “yes” to the future
to offer remorse for regrets
to ask and give forgiveness
It is never too late…
to feel again
to love again
to hope again.
Henry David Thoreau (USA, 1817-1862)
Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret is to live afresh.
Revisit the regret you expressed earlier. What did it teach you? How did it change your life or make you act differently? Can you give yourself the gift of forgiveness by viewing your regret as your teacher? Don't forget regret - use it!