I’ve had a few. Most that remain are mistakes made by my younger self. I’m grateful for mindfulness because it helps me live with fewer regrets, and also be grateful for what I learn from those I still have, new or old.
I regret that I wasn’t a kinder person in high school. I fell down a rabbit hole inadvertently when I posted the latest version of ‘Fruits of the Practice’ on Facebook this evening. In two short clicks I was reading a fifteen-page list of deceased graduates of Annandale High School. It’s disconcerting (though it shouldn’t be) to see that the two football stars of my years there are both dead, and a girl I barely knew died the year after graduation. I remember her vividly, though I didn’t know her well. She had a frail, dramatic look, and I wondered if I was kind to her back then, or if I just ignored her as I did so many.
I don’t blame myself: I was who I was because of the conditions of my upbringing, which were less than ideal for instilling selfless behavior. I was a spoiled white girl, but it took me a few decades to realize and begin to rectify that. Also, though, I was myself made fun of often during grades one through ten, ostracized by the cooler cliques, never felt secure or that I belonged, (except in the newsroom which I ruled senior year). So I forgive myself for my missteps back then, when I didn’t know better. I just wish I had been kinder in my early years, especially to people who I realize now were just like me…
We’ve all experienced those moments of remorse and regrets for past actions. We are human, after all, but we have the capacity to learn and grow, and, as you so beautifully demonstrate, move forward and practice forgiveness and compassion for ourselves and others ❤️