Sunday, February 28, 2010
A relative who is dear to me told me about an unexpected and rich conversation where he and his friend, both 60ish, talked with frankness and mutual trust, about their regrets. Something lit up in me to hear that these two had visited a place that is so often confined to dark corners. If only I hadn't ... I wish that had been different... Post-modernism, new age impulses - the philosophies that infiltrate our thinking - don't come with much permission for this particular take on our own lives. And so it remains un-named - grist for the mill of our unconscious, emerging in dream shape, or in the confines of the therapy room, where it can be wrapped up, corners tucked, before we re-enter the 'real' world. Why is this such hot-tin-roof territory? Where the temptation is to reassure, rescue, placate, and blow on our own and each other's paws. If we allow ourselves and others to feel the heat, is that not the place where transformation can take place - with its concomitant gifts of peace and acceptance? Regret is worthy of its name. It asks for a place in our lives. More than this, I think it is our access door to our own pain - that fire that ultimately purifies and re-connects, rather than the one that destroys. Are we - am I - trusting enough to expand our conversation with ourselves - and others if we are so fortunate - into realms that say of regret: yes, I do.