You are probably familiar with Édith Piaf's song No Regrets or Non, Je ne regrette rien, to give it its original French title.
Now some would say that to go through life and have no regrets whatsoever smacks a little of arrogance. Surely, we all have some regrets of things we have done in the past, or things we have not done, or indeed things that have been done to us.
Regrets come with the territory. They are part of life. There is always the fleeting thought of what might have been if things turned out differently. If we decided differently than we actually did. Or if events did not happen as they actually did.
It is part of human nature to look back. It's why we have been given memories. They say that a fish has a memory span of just a few seconds. After that, it forgets what has just happened. Or that if you come face to face with a gorilla, and slowly with no sudden movement you hide behind a tree, he will ignore you. Because, for him, out of sight is out of mind. His memory span has forgotten you.
Well, I've never met a gorilla. So I cannot vouch for that advice. But I have had regrets in my life. As Frank Sinatra sang, they were too few to mention. But the important thing is to learn from them.
Whatever our regrets are. Whether it is something we have done, or not done, or events and things done to us, the first thing to learn is that we cannot turn the clock back. It's happened. It's gone. It is pointless hanging on to that memory and making ourselves sad all over again, or indeed ill.
The second thing to learn is to find out what have we learnt from that experience. Is there anything we would do differently if similar circumstances arise in our lives today?
The third thing to learn is that, if someone has hurt us and did us wrong, we should forgive them. Really forgive them. Even if they don't ask for forgiveness.
The fourth thing to learn is that, if we have hurt someone, and it is still possible, we should now ask their forgiveness. If the individual in question has passed away, then we should leave it at that. There is no point agonising about the situation. That individual is now face to face with God and has seen the situation as it really is. It is now in God's hand.
Finally, if we were in the wrong, we should also seek God's forgiveness. And do so honestly. And believe that He has forgiven us, and to accept that forgiveness gracefully. No point going back over and again on the situation in our mind. To do so means that we have not accepted God's forgiveness. That He was wrong to forgive us. We must truly believe that in His infinite mercy and love, He has forgiven us.
Have you got any regrets? Do they still gnaw into you to the point of making you ill?