Sunday, November 18, 2012

Remorse and Regret Can Be Overcome By Helping Others!

Do you feel remorse and regret for an situation or action that occurred but there is no way you can go back and make it up to the person that was hurt?  Do you suffer from guilt and anxiety over not being able to make it up to the person that was hurt?  If you do, then I want you to try something, now this is not an original idea I got it from the movie "Pay It Forward" but I think it is an excellent way to help you deal with those feelings and maybe in some small way get the closure you need to let those emotions go finally.  Because trust me when I tell you, if there is nothing you can do, and you can't actually find or get in touch with the person who you have wronged or hurt, then those emotions are useless and are only holding you back and hurting you.  With that in mind if there is a way that you can get in touch with the other person, then I think you should contact them and tell them that you are sorry, give them a heartfelt apology and let those feeling finally move on.  Don't try to reopen the wounds by giving a halfhearted apology with excuses and rationalizations attached, because that is just going to make the situation much worse.  You would have been better off just living with the guilt, remorse, regret and anxiety. 

Each of us searches for closure for all painful things in our lives.  Sometimes it is because a relationship went horribly wrong, and both of you got hurt, or if there was some kind of altercation in your life and you parted friends with someone and ugly hateful words were said, or heaven forbid some sort of accident occurred and someone was seriously injured or hurt. Maybe a parent or loved one died and you had a fight and never got the chance to make up or they died suddenly and you never got the chance to say goodbye, whatever the reason, it is true there are times when we need closure but can't find it or get it for whatever the reason. When this happens feelings of regret and remorse can overwhelm us, followed closely by guilt and anxiety, which if left untreated, can lead to severe depression.

Closure is a way of moving past those old hurts and pains and move forward, either with the person or without. Sometimes closure brings answers to unanswered questions or provides explanations for why certain things happened as they did.  However, as I have said earlier sometimes closure isn't possible for one reason or another.  Sometimes closure can occur over time, however the questions still remain.  One thing is for sure that if you cannot find or talk to the other person closure may or may not be possible.  Sometimes asking for forgiveness or apologizing brings closure and sometimes it doesn't.  But, I want you to keep in mind that forgiveness is for you and you alone, even if someone does say that they forgive you, it doesn't really help them out.  It is for you. You are the one that is going to feel better in the end.  However, just like with closure and moving on, forgiveness may not be able to be had.

But there might be a way for you to use the emotions of regret, remorse, guilt and anxiety to help someone else out.  In other words "paying it forward", doing something to help others might actually get your mind off the issue that you are seeking closure for.  Now it will not answer the questions you might have or assuage all of your feelings that you are experiencing, but it will bring you some relief.  You may not be able to make it right with the person you have wronged but you can make it up to someone, and by doing that you are paying it forward, and if everyone did that the world would be a kinder and lighter place.  There would be less fighting and more understanding and friendships.  I for one have friends that I have known my whole life, and I take those friendships very seriously.  Now I can't say that there haven't been arguments and misunderstandings. That we haven't fought and stopped talking at times for awhile, but what I can say is that no matter what the issue or the problem we eventually always come back together and work it out.  If everyone did that, don't you think there would be less pain and animosity in the world.

Every time I meet a new person I enter into that relationship and cultivate it for longevity. I am not interested in just meeting you and making your acquaintance, I am interested in being a life long friend. Someone you can count on and trust. But I am also hoping to make the world a better place, and I think that by cultivating friendships and understanding how people are will go a long way toward making the world a brighter and safer and better place.  My definition of friend is that I accept you as you are.  I take you at face value, and I truly embrace your uniqueness and your differences and accept all of you. I can't like you and not accept you I am just not built that way.  I know that the human heart has the greatest capacity for unconditional love and acceptance.  It also has the greatest capacity to forgive, but once wounded it doesn't forget the pain.  It can move on get past it and work through the issue, but it doesn't forget the pain or the hurt that has been done to it.  As a matter of fact I was discussing this with a new friend just last night. See, I know that the human heart has the greatest capacity to love, and when it loves it loves hard, it is possible to love countless people. You love and care about your parents, your siblings and others that you have had relationships with in the past.  The love you have for your family is unconditional love, no matter what they do, they are your family and you care about them and will try your best to put them first, it goes the same with your friends.  Unconditional means total and uncompromising acceptance, willingness to overlook or accept and embrace their flaws as well as their virtues.  

The reason why I am bringing this up is that it is the heart that allows us to move on and find closure in actions, words and deeds.  They don't necessarily have to be from the person that hurt you or you were hurt by.  The heart is amazing in it's ability to forgive, move on, and find closure. It also finds inspiration in the smallest things and can make you happy even in the midst of your darkest hour.  With that in mind I honestly believe that by helping others that are in need might be just what you need to assuage your feelings of remorse and regret, as long as you are of pure intention and not looking for anything back in return.  Trust me when I tell you the feelings of joy and satisfaction will overpower and replace the feelings of regret and remorse you were feeling.  You can take a sense of pride that you are in a small way doing your part in making the world a better and safer place to live in. That you are creating an atmosphere of love, tolerance and acceptance that will continue to perpetuate through the many lives that you touch.  I have told you over and over again that the you never know where a casual encounter will take you, how your reaching out you hand in friendship and caring to another, might take them.  How a simple act of kindness may be all that is standing between a person and suicide.  Life has a funny way of taking our efforts and making them so much more than what they started out as.  Think of your act of kindness as a pebble falling into a lake, the ripples that is caused by that pebble start out small and expand the further out it travels.  One simple act can affect so many more people than you ever realize.  

Just remember the advice that my grandfather gave me.  A man doesn't leave his mark on the world by how many possessions he has or how much money he makes, but by how many lives he touches and how many people remember him after he is gone.  It is my hope that out of the thousands of people who I have helped and lives I have touched will remember me for the kindness and love that I have for them, and remember that someone once helped them when they needed it and will do the same for someone else.  I have been told by several people recently that they find inspiration in me just by the way I live and how I handle dealing with all the issues and problems that I have.  That statement alone proves to me that even the least deed that we do can have far reaching affects, we never know who is watching us and getting inspiration from our daily life. How many others are changed and helped by the example that demonstrate in your daily life.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B