Sunday, March 31, 2013

Regret and Forgiveness

Why is it that these two words are the hardest to follow or accept? Know the old saying that hind sight  is 20/20, we look back and see all the things that we  either choose to forget or our subconscious mind did not allow us to see at the time. I have often wondered why this is, is the memory too painful for our minds to handle at the time or did we choose to ignore hoping it would get better or change?
Regret is something we all have.  We feel  sorry for our actions, something we said or something we didn’t say, something we did or didn’t do to someone that was hurtful or wrong, either knowing we did it or unintentionally. We mourn for something or somebody; feel sadness or sense of loss and longing. After knowing about being scammed, did I regret the things I did? Or was is it the things I didn’t see, the signs or should have known better? These questions I have asked myself over and over again. What could I have done differently? I thought I had done my research into online dating, thought I was prepared, thought I was smart enough, wise enough , this strong independent woman was prepared for this whole new dating world.   
 When I lost my mother, I regretted giving her a hard time, regretted not telling her that I loved her more, regretted that I didn’t help her more. With my scammer, could I have really made a difference in helping him more?  Could I have changed the way he lived and made our so called relationship work? Could I have changed the fact that I was scammed and lied to?  And after knowing he used me, my biggest regret was I believed he truly cared for me. I regretted that I put myself into a position that could have caused me a life of freedom, a life away from my family, my grandson’s and my life in general. 
My scam was a little different from most:  most gave their life long, hard earned money, some gave scammers money they stole from others.  We didn't know we were being deceived into giving money.  We did this not knowing that in our  lives it could have been used to fix our cars, our health, our homes or our retirement. Those are now our regrets we have; the scammers' only regret is they were exposed and now are cut off. We are humans we all will have regrets in life, it’s the path we have to walk on our journey, but it shouldn’t  consume us, we can’t bring back the what if’s, we have to go forward and a make the best of our now’s. And that leads me to forgiveness.
 I believe forgiveness is the hardest lesson of all. Letting go of the hurt caused to us, the grudges, the bitterness and the anger.  We say we forgive someone who has hurt us, but do we really? We try to live our lives honestly, with compassion. We try to treat others how we would like to be treated. But when we have been hurt and deeply, been lied to and used, how do we find forgiveness?  Mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, instead of allowing anger toward them to eat at us. Our pain is like open wounds and can leave lasting feelings of anger and vengeance and yet if don’t practice forgiveness who really pays the most dearly? I have found that forgiveness leads to hope, peace and joy, it can lead us in our healing.
To genuinely forgive someone, it’s a decision to let go of the resentment, the hurt feelings. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to minimize or justify what has happened to us, they are responsible for the hurt they caused you, you can forgive without excusing them. Forgiveness can lower your anxiety, stress and hostility, lessen your depression. I am not saying you have to forgive your scammer or ever forget, what I am saying is “Forgive yourself”.
If we cannot forgive ourselves, we pay the higher price by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship or new experience we have in life. We become so wrapped up in the wrong that we cannot enjoy the present, we become more depressed and anxious and feel life lacks meaning or purpose. Consider the value of forgiving yourself and the importance in your life. Move away from being the victim and release the control and power the scammer has had on your life.
So I have chosen to let go of the past, that is something I can no longer change. It is no longer an option to let the past dictate to me how I live my life. I will never forget, but it is now my choice to be free and happy and not hold grudges. Forgiveness may be the hardest thing ever to do but in the long run forgiving myself and not living in regret makes me a better person.

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