Jul 10

The Power of Regret

Regret (verb)…to feel sad or sorry about something that you did or did not do. How many times have you said to yourself “Oh I will regret that!” or that you have felt regret, but kept going the same direction you were? Probably many times. I know that I have over a lifetime. I regret not visiting my grandparents more often and getting to know them better. I regret the amount of time I have wasted, not having an A average in school (because I couldn’t be bothered to put some effort there), wasting money, and so on.

Still, with all of that stuff I wish I had done differently, I admitted each time that “That just isn’t me, and I would have done the same could I do it over again.” I was still somewhat sad, but OK with the decisions I had made to act in whatever way applied. Nothing life changing had happened yet.

When Erin died, almost immediately a deep feeling of regret set in. Not only did I feel regret, I felt it in full color 3D IMAX moving picture quality. I didn’t just have memories, I had movies. Really. Couple that with the PTSD I began having, and my waking hours were a living nightmare for many months. I still experience the PTSD by the way.

I do not, however, experience more than a remembrance of regret. It changed me deeply, on levels that I can barely begin to communicate to you about. I am painfully aware of my short comings, and of things I left undone, unsaid, done badly, etc. Everything that I wished I had done differently was there, all at once. It hurt the very core of my being, and it sucked. Yeah, it sucked.

My grief therapist incorrectly assumed that what I initially felt was guilt, but nope it was regret. But then the guilt set in and it was absolutely appropriate for the things I felt guilty about. Guilt is responsibility for a crime or something done that was bad or wrong. Well, at the least, I could have done many things better. But you know, life gets in the way sometimes of us being present and of feeling.

The pain I have felt, well, I would not give it back because it has reshaped who I am. And now I am better than I was. A better person I mean, with a different perspective. Now I can celebrate that in the sense that I no longer have to carry the deep emotions of regret and guilt on a daily basis. Things still hurt, but I have found the value and let that stuff go for the most part.

You heard me say for the most part. Sometimes our lessons and teachers arrive in manners that we cannot understand unless we have the eyes to see. I have been talking to some friends about compassion here and there. A higher dimensional definition of compassion for someone means that you have empathy and understanding, but that you allow the person to feel their own pain, and take responsibility and experience their own consequences. Why? It’s theirs, not yours, to take on. Actually, Jelaila Starr already has a fabulous article that explains the differences between what she calls 3D compassion and 5D compassion. Even if I’ve just confused you, read her article. It really is fabulous.

Well, enter Regret once again. This morning I was faced with two scenarios, being experienced by others, who I assume may be facing regret today. I don’t want to get into specifics and discuss my opinions of those people so I will leave it at that. But I gotta tell you, I am having a hard time with one of them walking my talk on compassion. Hell, I feel I am carrying regret for them and I am so, so sorry for their experience. Ultimately though, I can only offer my support and kindness, which I have done.

I don’t quite know what I am to get out of being the compassionate observer today, but it’s “in my face” and so, I will rise to greet it. I do know that I have seen very few humans change their perspectives, and patterns, without devastating change. And that is if they make it out and don’t spiral farther down. I include myself in this. Whatever I am meant for, I can tell you that to save my daughter I would have sold every last one of you out to anyone. And so I had to be made to let her go so that whatever is coming, can come unimpeded. I had to lose it all. I get it. It makes sense in the cosmic scheme of things. I have a renewed belief in miracles, and by belief I mean an unshakable knowing in my heart. Anything is possible. Anything can happen. And I used to tell Erin that all the time. Now I believe it in a way that I never imagined possible.

So with that said, I will leave you to your day of magic, surprises, and kindness. And I will wish for you that if you have potential regrets, it clicks for you so that you don’t’ have to experience pain and loss to get it. But if you do, I’m here for you.

Blessings, Love, and Namaste. And always #missingerin <3



    • Lisa Lessard on July 13, 2015 at 10:41 am
    • Reply

    Thank you, this really hit home for me. And you are right, you either “grow” or the pain takes you under, for good. I am a Volunteer Victim Advocate for a sheriff department, and all the advocates have a story- why they do what they do- what happened to them- to make them who they are…the training is intense, but because of each persons story- each “call” is a totally different experience for each of us. I am not in any way comparing “story’s”, pain is pain, and each of us are unique, one of a kind,messes.. I am not sure any of this will make sense to you, I really just wanted to tell you I get it and thank you for being the “mess” that helps someone else.


  1. Hey Lisa, I completely understand what you were saying. I didn’t know you were a volunteer victim advocate. That is so wonderful that you are able to do that! So thank you for being there for helping someone else too. And for helping me over all of these months. I think of you daily and send hugs and love your way. <3 and #missingerin

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