The Golden Rule To A Life With No Regrets


Never regret happiness ...

August is the dying month in my family.

The buzzing days of late summer appealed to the fathers and grandfathers in our family as a good time to go out, held in the swollen glory of a humid, Michigan day. A day so full of family reunions and ball games that it's possible to slip away without fuss.

They make the transition from sweaty matter to incandescent soul aloft in family voices from down the hall, in the kitchen, across the grass.

The grandmothers are not ready just yet. They still have life left in their soft days, filling them with small tasks and gardens, crumbs of food and photo albums.

These women remember. These women are in life review recalling best friends and party dresses, boyfriends and first loves. These women have no regrets and that is how it should be.

Impending death is not the time to feel bad about your life. There is never a time life for regrets.

I used to go over events in my life to see which ones I'd like to do over. Should I have stayed in Colorado instead of continuing to California? Why, oh why, didn't I kiss that guy when he was standing right in front of me, smiling, open and unafraid? 

Why didn't I buy that butter yellow old Porsche when I had the money and no children?

It's taken me years to accept that there's no purpose in beating myself up over past decisions. I have free will and I exercised it.

Have I lived fully enough? A life of no regrets requires no bucket list of trumped up experiences to define it. It stands on its own. 

Don't despair if you feel you've messed things up so badly, theres no way you won't feel regret. Here is the one rule to a life of no regrets — Be grateful.

Be grateful for every little thing that's ever happened to you, because you know what? It really did happen for a reason. It helped bring about with the help of your choices, thoughts, emotions and that wonderful world of physics.

You can stop regretting the one who got away, the money you never made and the trips you didn't take. There are no mistakes, but get living for Pete's sake. Do what you want and be grateful.

Gratitude is love energy and that's powerful stuff. It propels the Universe and lives inside of you, making every cell sing with happiness, health and those nifty rejuvenating hormones.

Gratitude is the plan for life, for the day, the focus of your prayer and the mantra of the moment. Gratitude is the wind on your face, the scent of lilies, the sun on your arms and tears on your cheeks.

It's the smile on your daughter's face and the love in your husband's eyes. It's the sand in your shoes, the stones you collect, the business that tanked, the dog you found and the wrinkles you hate.

Be grateful for it all and go ahead and live from your heart. Don't look back. It's all good because you made it and you are an incredible being in the Universe - and the Universe doesn't make mistakes.

I ran into a friend recently, the one I regretted not kissing while we stood so closely so long ago. I was ready to reminisce over a bottle of wine about a love life lost when he put it all into perspective for me.

"Mimi, if we'd kissed and gotten together back then, I'd be divorced from you, not from my second wife."

Bullet dodged. So grateful.

This article was originally published at My Spiral-bound Notebook. Reprinted with permission from the author.