As always, we invite you to join the conversation... do you believe in regret or is everything in life just a lesson learned? And if you're feeling brave, you may even want to share your own story about regret. That's what the comment section is there for! What do you think of today's anonymous confessions of regret?
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
"When I thought about that initially, I really didn't think I had any regrets. However, when I started to think about it, a couple came to my mind. I regret when I was a teenager and into my 20's that I didn't do more to help my mom. I gave her money, as far as the amount she wanted me to give her from my pay. But I spent a lot of time and that money doing things for myself; going out on dates, going out drinking, going down the shore and never really did much to help with the house as far as fixing it up, as abandoned as the house was. The house was remodeled by HUD cause it was a pigsty in the beginning since it was dilapidated, and we had no money to fix it. I could've probably done more there, so that's one of my major regrets, with my mother."
"The second is she (my mother) wasn't there to see Joe (youngest son) born and she wasn't there when I graduated college. I don't even remember if she knew that I got into college. Being one of five kids, three never graduating high school, me and my one brother did graduate high school. I finally got to college for the grace of hard work and the opportunity I had at Cigna (employer). She never saw that.
My belief is she's really here. She sees it. She knows what's going on. Physically not being able to be there....that's a larger regret. It's a closed door. She had time with John ( older son). But not to have the opportunity to see my youngest? That's a permanent loss."
"It's a shame, but John doesn't even remember my mother as he's gotten older. Mom played with him, carried him. If she was physically able to, was always willing to babysit. Just to have that grandparent there. They both had grandparents on Donna's (his wife) side, but our side is non existent. It's sort of like a rehash of MY life in the beginning. My grandmother died when I was under three years old. She was hit by a drunk driver and killed. I have one memory of her being in the house and I can see her in black in the same seat and talking. I think John's in the same boat. I don't know if he has any, but he may have one or two memory bites of her and that's it. But (for Joe), he never had that experience of having a grandmother."
"Another regret I have is, as I've gotten older, especially after I left a job in Bethlehem, I regret wasting so much of my life being angry. Not really knowing where the anger was coming from. Anger towards so many people and so many reasons I was always angry and nasty and belligerent. I was like I am now, a little goofy all the time, but always had that anger itch. Easy to come to rage. I read a book, and I don't remember the authors name, he was a Buddhist and the book was about anger. And when I was reading the book, it would try to get you to figure out why you were angry. One of the reasons you continue to be angry is that it becomes a constant emotion in your soul. You envelope it, so when you start to try NOT to be angry, you miss that feeling, even though it's a negative feeling. It's like a shawl, you've had it on your shoulders for so long, it feels comfortable. And then when it's gone you miss it. The anger comes back to not having a father, my father walking out, never making any contact. The rage from that is really all built up into that. But as I've gotten older, I realized my life was better because he left. Now that I know what he was like, my life would've probably been worse. But the anger and the rage is so deep set in the soul, it's hard to let it go."
"I wouldn't have treated other people so shitty. I was bullied a lot as a kid from a lot of different kids in school. And then I realized later on, that there was a few people I bullied in school. I never realized I bullied them cause growing up in the neighborhood, we teased people. But the incessant teasing falls into today's terms of bullying. Maybe if I wasn't so angry all the time, to throw the anger at someone else and belittle and tease them, I probably wouldn't have done that. I recently reconnected with an elementary school friend who still remembers how I got bullied and how he stuck up or me. I'm 60 and HE remembers that. And I know how I felt then, and since I've gotten older, my rage and anger has gone away so much. I wonder about the people that I bullied. What have they felt because of what I did? If I was a happier kid or if I moved..."
"Everything falls in place for a reason. If my father was here or stayed and became a part of my life, my life might have gone in a different direction. I might not have met Donna, had my kids....
A stone thrown in the water leaves a ripple. Every event in your life leaves ripples. Some are good, some are bad. All my life I thought that ripple of my father leaving caused all the bad. It wasn't until my 40's, and more so recently, when I left the Bethlehem job, that I started getting less angry and I noticed all the positive ripples."
DO YOU THINK THAT THE CHANGE IN YOU MADE MORE POSITIVE RIPPLES OR THAT YOU JUST STARTED NOTICING THEM MORE?
"I started to recognize them. The positive ripple was, I grew up with a mother and not my father! I have a higher degree of empathy than some of the other guys I know. I think that's a reason why people talk to me. I have a long list of friends over the years that are willing to tell me things that they wouldn't tell other people. Because I have an empathetic nature. They can confide in me and I won't tell the story down the line."
WHY DO YOU THINK LEAVING A JOB MADE YOU LET GO OF ALL THAT ANGER?
Probably being physically removed from it, not being in the presence of turmoil (not even mine). Seeing how a person was taunting another so badly and seeing how their life was disrupted."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEBODY TO MOVE PAST THEIR ANGER ISSUES?
"Reading self help books is helpful to a degree cause it'll spark something. But it comes back to that little self analysis inside of you. Recognize the things that are pissing you off. If they changed, how would your life change? How would the people around you change? And a lot of times, when you figure out that thing that's setting off your anger, it's not that bad. You're causing your own anger. I learned that at a stress management class through Cigna that we all had to take. The medical director at the time, picked me out of the group, and asked me what pisses me off. I said the phone pissed me off. He asked why. I said "it rings, someone's complaining. It's more work". When I finally got done, he asked if I was finished. I said yes and he said, "the phone doesn't piss you off, you LET the phone piss you off. The phones an inanimate object". That was an awakening for me. He was right. We allow things to piss us off."
"You need to find what gives you peace. It took me a long time to find what that was. Sometimes, being with the family gives you peace. But then when you have kids in the house and they drive you up the wall, you lose it too. I found music did it for me. Prayer helps a lot of people. But if I can sit and listen to music, and sometimes I'll get a massage, but none of the massages I've ever had didn't have music in the background. The old saying is really true, 'Music soothes the savage beast'."