Christianity, Recovery, Spirituality, Uncategorized

No Regrets?

Thoughts From the Porch: I don’t watch a lot of television. I usually have other things to do. In fact, until Margaret and I married five years ago I hadn’t even had a tv set for several years. I find that if I do sit down to watch the small screen I might as well right off the rest of the evening. Somehow, I slowly become one with the recliner until the 10 o’clock news…

Last night was different. I wasn’t feeling well so I crawled into bed to watch tv an NCIS “marathon” (a nicer sounding term for “binge-watching”), hoping I’d nap a bit instead. That’s not what I got though. I won’t bore you with the details of the episode. It had to do with the death of one of the character’s father. I applaud the screenwriters and actors. It was well done and elicited an emotional response: unusual for the small screen with it’s laugh tracks and brevity. Even though my Dad has been gone almost 15 years, the tears flowed. Unresolved grief has a way a making an appearance at strange times.

I reflected on that a lot this morning on the porch. There’s some promises offered in the recovery community that may seem like a real “no-brainer” to the rest of society. The one that grabbed my attention this morning is that we’ll “not regret the past…”. Church had another version: “forgive and forget”. I’m not sure that either are entirely true.

I do have regrets today. At least I think so. Identifying what I’m really feeling is still hard sometimes, even after some years of practice. I spend my days trying to find the right word when writing for my clients or my thoughts from the porch. Today I feel inadequate doing so. I‘m not sure how to label it. I guess regret will have to do.

I look back at my life and I find things I just wish I had done differently. I wish I’d been a better father and a better son. I wish a lot of things, but as Dad used to remind me, “Wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which gets full first”. I learned to admit my failures and make amends, to make things right, to the best of my ability. That’s brought me a sense of freedom, forgiveness, and peace. But it doesn’t change the fact that I wish none of it had ever happened; or at least Dad were here to talk to about it. Grief must not have an expiration date…

Maybe regret isn’t what’s really going on. It’s not regret as much as it is grief. The reality is he is here to share this with. As I sat reflecting this morning I heard him remind me all that “what’s done is done, life is what it is, and God is good. What am I going to do about it?” Thanks for the reminder, Dad. Good advice for a wonderful morning…

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