arbitrary stuff that comes to mind: whenever I feel like thinking aloud

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My grandmother said: about regret, and forgetting, and living in the moment

Some years ago, I found myself in that unusual space: letting go and moving on.
This is not an easy thing to do, we all know that!

On the spur of the moment, I took a bit of a holiday and went down towards Plettenberg Bay, kind of sorting my head out. And I thought about letting go, and moving on, and all the while I was spending quite a bit of time looking back.
Something my grandmother had said to me many many years ago came back, as these things often do.

Here is what she said.
"You only regret what you remember."

At the time I thought, "That's so easy!" If you forget there will be no regrets.
But I soon discovered this is not the case. It's not possible to completely wipe out the past, and the memories keep flooding back.
So I went back to her, and I said to her, this doesn't make sense to me. She gave me that odd look that older women give when they are feeling wise, and said "There is no place for the past in this exact moment. Right now, in this moment. If you are putting everything you have into this moment, then there will be no need to forget, and there will be no room for regret either. The past will simply be what led up to now, and of course you would not have now without it."
But one forgets these lessons, until one day it all comes flooding back.

So I drove up to Storms River, which I had been avoiding, and I spent some time there assimilating the past while taking in the moment; and you know, I have never felt so alive.

And I have never again had to live with regret.
And best of all, my memories stay intact.


Anonymous said...

so true. miss you my friend. i miss our monthly routine of dinner and movie/show/broadway/etc... the long talks is what i miss the most... Barbs

Cyril Souchon said...

Hey Barbs!
Another interesting thing is this
When regrets have been integrated, you discover new opportunities to build relationships:
Revisiting, stabilizing, or letting go

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