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Regrets? I've Had A Few.

My friend asked me what i regret.  I think he wanted me to mark my trail.  Since i am old and he isn't, what are the snags and pitfalls he might face if he takes a path similar to mine..

He asked me what i regret, i think, because he considers that my head is on pretty straight, which is definitely not true.  For a variety of reasons my head is probably on more crooked than most people's heads are.  There are of course, a few things that everybody knows or should know: the Golden Rule, the Eightfold Path, the Buddha within, the Ten Commandments, the sermon on the mount, the four immeasurables, the works of mercy,and, of course, the Prime Directive and the Hippocratic prime directive -- First, do no harm.  I have failed, at one time or in one way or another in all of these things; and the failures i remember i truly regret

Getting more specific than that, doing a confessional or a fourth step is not likely to benefit anyone but me.  My regrets are mine, they should not necessarily be yours.  I regret  what i regret and i don't regret what i don't regret no matter what opinion any one else might have of that.  To paraphrase a Taoist saying:  Why should i regret what others regret; they are following a broad path going nowhere, while i am following a narrow path to somewhere even less.

Regrets may not even be all that valuable.  Guilt is a questionable motivator, probably a dangerous one.  When i say: "I'm sorry." what i am saying is that i am "one sorry son-of-a-bitch."  What people want to know is whether i am going to repeat my "sorry" behavior, not whether i regret it.

When i was thinking about regrets, i thought about my autism.  Do i regret being autistic?  Do i wish i had found out about it years earlier so i could have tried to counteract its effects on friends and family and career?  Then i decided that that is really silly!  I had no choice in these matters and therefore they should not be fitting subjects for regret.  I might as well regret that the U.S. was an enslaving culture for so many years, or that the Tao Te Ching isn;t longer.

One regret that might be worth passing on is the lack of presence in my own life, in my marriage, in my family, in my friendships.  I  look back on my first 25 years of marriage from the perspective gained in the second twenty five and see how distant i was from the  people i was supposed to care about, from the people i did care about.  I might as well have sent my family a monthly check from out of town for all the awareness and participation i lacked.  Be.  Here. Now., in Love.

No doubt there were choices, important choices, that i should have made in a greater state of presence.  Which way the choices went, whether they were good or bad, matters less than that they were not made by a more real and aware person.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
bobby1933
Apr. 12th, 2012 03:44 am (UTC)
nothing is wasted
Thank you. I pretty much agree.
Some of us learn more slowly and more painfully. Sometimes i think being autistic is a little like being an addict. It isn't just doing things that cause pain to self and others, it doing those same things over and over and over....
dyingishate
Apr. 12th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
Thank you.
animaltime
Apr. 12th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
I am grateful to read your entries! I have great Livejournal friends.

"Presence" in life is a central issue. I'm improving at being present, I think. I learned how not to be present from observing my parents, but I think identifying my interests and passions has helped me become more present.
sabrinamari
Apr. 12th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
"One regret that might be worth passing on is the lack of presence in my own life, in my marriage, in my family, in my friendships. I look back on my first 25 years of marriage from the perspective gained in the second twenty five and see how distant i was from the people i was supposed to care about, from the people i did care about. I might as well have sent my family a monthly check from out of town for all the awareness and participation i lacked. Be. Here. Now., in Love."

This is very important. Thank you for laying out so plainly.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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