Regrets, New Year's Resolutions

Today's hike was one for pondering regrets and letting some go.

My normal philosophy is to take a growth-oriented, learn-from-my-mistakes, practice-better-habits approach. AND there are regrets and disappointments which we hold too tightly and for too long (or at least I do).  Thusly, a periodic meditation, embrace and let-go can be liberating. It is a form of the mindfulness meditation.

For some, this pondering of regrets is also a good exercise in preparation for their New Year's resolutions, finding inspiration in the negatives to create positives.

So, having let go (or, still letting go) of regrets, here are some lessons learned (or, lessons I'm still learning):

- Prioritize, keeping work in balance, making time for loved ones, saying Yes and saying No in the right times. Saying Yes when it's an opportunity to try something new, make a connection with someone, or overcome a fear. Saying No in order to create healthy boundaries - against meanness, bullies and that which would sabotage our peace.

- Stand in the gap for those who cannot speak for themselves (because they are not present or otherwise).  I so loved Allan Johnson's Privilege, Power and Difference, which encourages us to speak up in those moments - lest our silence imply agreement.

- Continue to grow - read good books, watch documentaries, follow clever people on Twitter who give you a different perspective, don't unfriend someone on Facebook simply because you disagree with them, learn a new skill.

- Give back - volunteer, donate, captain a team in the Walk to End Alzheimer's or some other such event. In short, strive for Helen Lowrie Marshall's poem, Afterglow, having a positive impact.

- Recognize when a situation is emotionally-driven and when it would be better discussed after all parties have calmed.

- Appreciate others for their commitment, their creativity, their personal approach. Do not expect everyone to act as you would. Live the empathy in Ian Maclaren's statement, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

- If it is indeed the case, recognize when you did the best you could.  Don't continually beat yourself up for things you would do differently now. Acknowledge, apologize, make amends, grow; but don't wallow.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a great 2015, 
filled with joy, great relationships and growth ~

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