Is there something in your life that you wish you had done differently? If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Three years ago, a lady in her eighties was knocked over by a cyclist as she waited for a friend in the dark outside her house. She was standing on the pavement. She fractured her hip and had to have a metal plate put in her leg. Some might say she has never been the same since. She has had lots of physical problems since this accident, and now finds it difficult to leave the house.
Does he realise?
Her friend made a comment: “I wonder if that boy realises what he’s done?” I’d be surprised if he did. I am sure he felt remorse at the time – who wouldn’t, if they knocked an elderly lady over because they were cycling illegally on the pavement without lights? However, he does not know the full consequences of his actions. They are not in touch – he is not to know the long lasting effects of his lack of consideration and judgement.
I asked my book group to read “Time and Time Again” by Ben Elton. (“Not another time travel book, Becky…”) I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but if you are interested in thinking how life might be different if we changed an event from the past, I recommend you have a read.
We would not be the people we are today if we hadn’t made mistakes in our lives. Sometimes we regret things we have done; at others, we regret not having had the courage to step out of our comfort zone. There are things in my life I wish I could forget, things I am not proud of. I think it must be impossible to get through life without having hurt some people, or having made unwise decisions. I’d love not to remember some of mine.
Forgetting our regrets
But if I was able to forget, wouldn’t I go on making those same mistakes time after time? If I couldn’t remember the disgust I felt with myself, or the longing for a different end-result, I would most likely walk along the same path again. My mistakes, and the memories of them, are what help me in my personal progress. Some might say they teach me on my spiritual journey.
If I were able to erase particular incidents in my past, where would I be today? Would I have my wonderful husband and two children? Would I be living in this city? My path might have been completely different. Would I be as happy as I am now?
I could be wrong about that young cyclist – he may have given up biking altogether because of the shock, or he may now never cycle on the pavement and use lights when it is dark. He may struggle to get to sleep at night – her crumpled body might flash in front of him every evening. We don’t know. We can never know.
All we can do is look back on our mistakes, and use them to help us move forward. We needn’t be proud of them, nor need we torture ourselves with what might have been. We can accept who we are now, and value the person we have become.
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