I heard someone say once that when you get older, it is not so much the things you have done wrong that bother you... as the regrets you have for not doing what you could've done.
It is true for me. Missed opportunities, particularly in relationships but also in education, career and some other personal choices are my main regrets. I know I could have and should have made certain choices. Why do some people just seem to KNOW exactly what they want and then move heaven and earth to make it happen? I really admire that.
The worst though is feeling like you have let someone down...that you could've done more. They say the first step in correcting something is to recognize what needs to be done. Then do whatever you can to fix it so you don't repeat past mistakes. So don't wallow in the shoulda, woulda, couldas...but take action, rise above the flaws and mistakes and press forward...always striving for the best. I guess the trick is to know when perfection isn't attainable and recognize when you are doing your best...and it is what it is.
I am forgiving of others. I always cut the other person slack, figuring they're tired or having a bad day or life. But when it comes to me...I am a hard task master and I don't allow myself the same leeway for mistakes as I do for others.
I would do well in these times to remember my own words that I have at the bottom of my web page: Even when people disappoint us or we disappoint them, we need to realize that sometimes in life, all we can do is our best and it's not always going to be someone else's best, but it is our best at the time and so we need to be forgiving of ourselves and others when necessary. (SeaSpray)
The following poem was taken from the front of a card I have in my card file box that I no doubt purchased during one of my feeling guilty moments and then still didn't send it.
There are so many wonderful people I love,
and I ask your forgiveness -
and theirs -
For not letting them know
all the times that I could
how they're kept in my thoughts and my prayers.
How the thinks that can seem
so important each day
really mean nothing at all
Compared to the warmth
and the blessings we share
in a visit or letter or call.
So, please help me remember
there'll always be time
to accomplish the things I must do,
But the memories we make
with the ones we love
are the treasures that last all life through.
~ Emily Matthews ~