A friend of mine once asked me a question that I thought was fairly stupid at the time. He asked, “If I were to choose between regret and anger, which emotion would I rather allow myself to feel?” Granted, the skies were a tad dark that day and the ambience did leave something to be desired but, posing a question like that seemed unnecessary and, quite frankly, a bit annoying. Why on earth would I want to contemplate a query like that?!
Unfortunately, I found myself pondering the question and eventually, I began a mental list of the things I did regret and the things that made me want to sit in a corner and plot the downfall of the person who hurt me.
True, there are tons of other emotions to take into account:
- Pain can be so powerful that it consumes you, but in the end, it turns out to be nothing but a wound, it aches at times but eventually, it heals.
- Loneliness is painful but then again, you’re lonely because you choose to be so. If you let someone into your life, you’ll find that this world isn’t such a sucky place after all.
- Happiness can be amazing but it has its ups and downs. Sometimes, that feeling of elated invincibility is short lived. Still, you learn to get past that and move on.
- Fear is ever present but you are always given a choice to run away or confront it.
Regret and anger, however, can linger and gnaw at the back of your mind until you finally decide to let it go.
Like any other person, I’ve had to live with both regret and anger. I love my life and am truly grateful for all the blessings but, there are still some instances in the past that I wish I could do over.
- There are some choices I wish I didn’t make and opportunities I allowed to slip from my grasp.
- There were some words I wish I could take back and thoughts I should have voiced out but ended up keeping them to myself.
- So many hours wasted on frivolous things and so little time spent actually being productive.
- So many temper tantrums that should have been suppressed and arguments that could have been avoided but ended up exploding in my face.
“Such is life… You can never really get everything you want…”
I may be all happy and bubbly most of the time but sometimes, the other feelings, those I’d rather keep hidden, seep through the cracks of the walls I’ve tried to put around to isolate it.
- I feel bad when I get shunned away or when I’m made to feel unimportant.
- I get offended when I’m being told snippets but, the bigger picture is always kept under lock and key.
- I get upset when my statements get twisted and words are being shoved into my mouth.
- I feel horrible when I’m singled out from a group of people I’ve labelled as my friends.
Basically, I’m like everyone else. Yes we’re all unique and quirky in our own little way but we’re all wired pretty much the same. That’s what makes us human.
I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be anything close to perfection. The thing is, Yes we learn from our mistakes but why do we always have to make that an option?! If we can avoid the little blunders, then why don’t we?
In truth, I’m probably more wary of Anger than I am of any other emotion. Yes regret eats you up but the thing is, it’s in the past. You can whine and groan all you want but it won’t do you any good. The best you can do is cry it out and find a way of living life and making up for your frustrations. If it’s actually worth doing, you won’t care how long it takes or how rough the roads will be.
Anger however, can lead to revenge and you end up doing something drastic that ultimately hurts everyone involved, including yourself. You have to remember… Once the moment’s gone and the damage has been done, you can’t take it back. The question is… can you live with yourself after that?
So the answer to the question, “Anger or Regret, which one will it be?” I’d opt for none, obviously. Unfortunately, that choice was never presented. Instead, if i really had to choose, I’d choose regret. Like I said, regret is lingering but the outcome can be changed depending on what path you decide to take. If at the road’s end I find myself wanting, I hurt nobody else and can blame no one else but myself.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed doors that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
– Alexander Graham Bell
Don’t let life pass you by just because you can’t allow yourself to let go of the past. There are so many beautiful things about the world that are right in front of you. All you have to do is choose to see them. 🙂