The Telescope

Regrets can be healing or destructive

Regret can be your worst enemy or your best friend. You get to decide which. Whichever you decide, you live with it. You bear its consequences

A simple insensible choice can prove more tragic than death, not to mention the colossal amount of regret that you live to bear if ‘death’ does not happen.

Ah, regret. The forehead-slap of hindsight, the woeful fuel of country ballads, the self-recrimination that creeps into our lives all too stealthily. If you have ever made a bad decision or suffered an accident, regret has been your roommate, if not your conjoined twin.

It is a difficult companion, prone to accusatory comments and dark moods, and it changes you, leaving you, paradoxically, both tougher and more tender. You get to decide, however, whether your toughness will look like unreachable bitterness or unstoppable resilience; your tenderness the raw vulnerability of a never-healing wound, or a kindness so deep it heals every wound it touches.



Regret can be your worst enemy or your best friend. You get to decide which. Whichever you decide, you live with it. You bear its consequences.

There are at least two-time zones where you can choose to make regret’s powerful energy healing rather than destructive: the past and the future. Both can be transformed by what you decide to do right now, in this moment.

But such is hard for a close friend who recently lost his son to his three military-trained German Shepherds last month.

The couple had left for work as usual, leaving behind their two children, a girl, six, who had just closed school for the holidays and their son, one, under the care of their househelp.

As the day went by, their daughter decided to play with the dogs. This was something she had always done since she had become accustomed to them at a tender age. In the presence of her younger sibling she innocently let the dogs out of the kennel. At first they played with the small girl impishly as the small boy watched.

A little later the dogs crept towards the small boy and pouncing on him amid helpless cries from the sister.Although the past does not exist except as a memory, the stifling nature of events, unchangeable in animages incident such as this, makes it hard for the couple to fathom their story as faintly having a positive twist to a tragic regret.

But we take comfort, though fleetingly, in the warm, if belated, realisation that time heals more than the doctor. We may seem lost in the anguish of the moment but this, too, will pass. And the wounds of today will slowly, painfully, form the scars of tomorrow.

Ah, yes, the jagged edges of today’s tears will be smothered by time. And resilience. But the regret will be there though…

This article was published on April 18 2015 on People Daily Kenya

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