In 1968, Frank Sinatra’s, My Way was a smash hit. The lyrics were written by Paul Anka, and the song is about doing life “my way.” The song begins with these words, “And now, the end is near; and so I face the final curtain…” Halfway through, the song talks about regrets, “Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few to mention…”
Only a few regrets? Too few to mention? Seriously? Heck, I am not “near the end” and I can mention quite a few regrets, starting with the hamburger and fries I ate yesterday when I am supposed to be losing a few pounds. Or regretting the fact that I stayed up too late over the weakened, catching up on episodes of SNL. And then there are all the unmet goals I had for myself: do a plank a day, write in my journal, and so on…
And these are the small regrets. What about the bigger ones? The ridiculous argument with my husband over something petty, and the hurtful thing I said to one of my children, the risk I took that turned out badly. And if I had acquired hep C via injection drug use, I am sure that would be on my list of regrets.
What is regret? Google’s dictionary defines regret as, “a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.” Trust me, I’ve done a lot of repenting in my life.
The problem with regret is not that we have them; the problem is when we gnaw on regret and let it interfere with our lives. Although I didn’t use needles, I am not proud of how I contract hep C. (For those interested in knowing more, you can read my story.) Although I occasionally feel the pang of regret, I don’t dwell on the circumstances. Plus, nearly 30 years later, I can see the blessings that hep C brought me.
So, if you are still holding on to shame and blame about how you acquired hepatitis C, perhaps it is time to forgive yourself. Deep, burning regret is of no use to you now. Yes, regret will likely crop up now and again, but healthy regret is occasional and not constant.
Perhaps we can look to Frank Sinatra for the key to moving forward, “I faced it all and I stood tall – And did it my way.”