I was Skyping with a dear friend of mine back home in Bakersfield yesterday when the conversation turned a corner to us both proclaiming that our current state in our lives is not where we ever thought it would be. She said she had a few regrets. I asked for examples and listened as she ticked off only a small number, which, for someone in our age group, was not a whole lot as I have met and listened to many go through a laundry list of regrets.
Once she finished her very short list, I asked if she learned anything from those experiences. She said that she had and I replied that in that case, they aren’t regrets.
I am a complete eternal optimist, and while those who don’t know me well might judge me from who they think I am rather than learn who I really am, some might conclude that I am far from an optimist. They would be sorely and utterly mistaken.
My thinking is this: Life is hard. No one ever said it would be easy. People come in and out of our lives and we go through trials and tribulations that some of us are lucky to even come out of the other side of unscathed, but it is what we do with those moments where we are pushed to our limits, where we look back and long for a different outcome or a choice that could have been changed, that we decide to see the “silver lining”.
Some never realize that there was a lesson to be learned and hold onto that hurt never willing to change their story. After I said these words and she paused for a moment to think about my outlook on “regrets”, she said she liked that idea and would no longer use the word.
She and I had grown up with a timeline of their life mapped out in their head of where we would be, what we would be doing, what would have been accomplished. Then when the time comes, we realize that God has a funny way of showing us just how silly we were to make plans. Of course there is nothing wrong with having goal and forming timelines, but one should be made aware that your plans are never carved in stone but rather etched in sand, and they can change just as quickly as the tides do.
Instead of living a life of regrets, one should live a life of opportunities!
This, of course, is easier said than done, because with opportunity comes stepping out of your comfort zone and leaping into lands unknown. However, if one is able to keep an eye out for that “silver lining”, one will never loose their way.
So I ask: do you have any “regrets” or have you been able to see the “silver lining”?
You can read more from Andrea Sheperd on her blog.
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