The one benefit to thinking about regrets is that you then have the opportunity to put them in their place, in the past, and look, with gratitude, at who and what you are today. Regrets give off negative energy, but gratitude fills me up with positive energy.
As I look at gratitude, I see two different types. One type is the more typical feeling of gratitude for what we have in our lives. For instance, I am grateful for parents who loved me and each other, who gave me opportunities to grow, to be independent and to gain confidence. I am grateful for the intelligence they passed on to me biologically and the work ethic to go with it that they passed on by their example. I was fortunate to marry my best friend at a relatively young age and I am grateful that we, as a couple, have been able to grow our relationship as we’ve grown-up together.
The other type of blessing for which I feel grateful is not for a specific person or event, but for a general attitude or outlook. I believe that much of what is good about my life is because of a basic positive outlook. Was I born with it? Did I learn it? I don’t know; however, I suspect that it’s at least a little of both. I remember having a fairly sunny disposition as a child, but I also know that I worked at learning how to stay positive, how to look at situations as opportunities, not problems. That outlook is now very much a part of who I am and maintaining it usually doesn’t feel like work. I am so very grateful that I have, at my core, a positive outlook.
My gratitude list could go on and on – it’s much longer, and a lot more fun, than my list of regrets. Sure, we’re all stuck with some regrets that we cannot deny or erase, but we can offset those regrets with an abundance of gratitude. When I think of the word regret, I think of slogging down into a muddy pit – it feels bad and it’s hard to make any progress. When I think of gratitude, I think of an upward spiraling air current filled with pixie dust – it looks and feels beautiful and I think I might just be able to fly on it.
I am grateful that I like to fly!