In the spirit of noticing my human patterns I bring you my incoherent thoughts on regret and how I am attempting to include my regrets in a field of acceptance. I have a good example of it from last night, which does not have a high emotional charge so it is fairly easy to create some space around it and share.
The second Thursday of the month is resiliency followup. I have been looking forward to it for weeks, I had blocked off the time in my calendar and jealously guarded it from all.
Sometime after lunch on Thursday I realized I was getting a headache. After a bit of typically reaction 'why now?' 'what did I do to cause this?' and so forth I took some deep breaths and tried to sit with the headache a bit at my desk. I tried to notice it in a friendly accepting way although that was a pretty big stretch. I want to get better at self acceptance this year in a radical way and having a headache is a fine area to practice it.
That worked pretty well for me. On my way home I had to stop and get gas for the car and somehow I got gas on me. By the time I got home the smell of gas was making me feel sicker, verging into migraine territory and I knew I wouldn't be making my meeting that night.
I wanted to struggle. I felt deep disappointment but I did my best to bring some acceptance to that feeling. My head/neck were very uncomfortable and I noticed the waves of physical discomfort that I feel with that type of headache. But I didn't suffer.
Somehow I was able to feel my regret and have my headache but I didn't do the things to myself that make it worse. Like blame or berate myself, try to manage or control much, tell myself to feel differently. I just tried over and over to say 'yes' as I lay on the bed with my head on an ice pack. I did it very imperfectly and I said yes to that as well. I dozed and woke up feeling less sick but regretful still, I removed the now warm ice pack and eventually fell into a deeper sleep and when I woke it was morning, the headache was gone and my chance at an RT followup over until February...
and I still felt regret and sadness. I said yes to them again and again as they arose during the morning and I also noticed how impermanent they were. Because I also felt alive and loved by myself, safe I guess. Self acceptance in the end was/is more important to me than my plans.
I wish I had the words to communicate this experience better but they are eluding me completely so I'll just let them stand as is. peace.