Undoing regret…

undoing regret

Nietzsche said that “Once you know that there are no purposes, you also know that there is no accident; for it is only beside a world of purposes that the word ‘accident’ has meaning.” Perhaps in a grand sweeping gesture of radical acceptance and revolutionarily subversive compassion Nietzsche saw things as arising out of “necessity”. He so desperately sought to relish and embrace this necessity:


“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.”


Most days I’m able to echo Nietzsche’s sentiments with near equal level of vehemence and veracity. Most days when our minds are sound and we are stably grounded, we can learn a lot by looking back on the events that we cannot change or alter. We recognize that wisdom is something that arrives at the end of the day.


But, sometimes when the low murmuring of depression’s dark sayings descend, regret crashes in to and I feel as though there is nothing that I wouldn’t do differently.

Sometimes our footing is less sure, our minds are more scattered, and we forget to close the door behind wisdom when it arrives; leaving just enough room for regret to come. And, the thing about regret is, when that mother fucker gets in, he tries to take everything.


Regret can seep into the even the smallest of crevices and when it does it can twist all it touches into the shape of something lonely.


Sometimes the thumping pulse of regret is the tell-tale heart of our dark forbearance crawling beneath the floor boards.


In constantly returning to that which we regret we are stuck reliving it again and again; a repetition without reprieve, a reenactment without realization, a repentance without redemption

But it can be undone.


Acceptance is the undoing of regret. Acceptances ruins the infinitely repeating loop of dejection and disappointment, and instead says “yes” to it all. Acceptance chooses to love it all, sees it all as necessary, sees it all as beautiful, says it was all worth and would would do it all again.


Most of us know what its like to fuck up. We know all too well how hard, fast and ferociously things can get fucked up. I know I do. In fact, I think I’m beginning to acquire a taste for it; it is bitter and astringent at the front, but strangely sweet and fragrant at the finish.  But, more importantly, I’m beginning to see what it looks like on the other side of it. It is the place where compunction becomes compassion, where contrition turns to kindness, and where we become something new.

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  1. Pingback: Hope happens in the dark... - Duane Toops

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