Wasted Years: Shame, Guilt or Regret?

Word choice.

Choosing between shame (which is exceedingly intense) and guilt (which depending on the “crime” could result in the death penalty) I think regret is often a better choice to describe feelings about ourselves.

Regret can be deep, but not permanent or debilitating.

I am glad I am able to walk. If I was unable to walk I would be so dependant at such a basic level. Imagine if I wasn’t able to get to the refrigerator, or the toilet, without assistance.

But I don’t feel shame, guilt, or even regret about the years I spent in a crib, confused by the world around me, or the hundreds of times I fell on my diaper-covered butt, inching my way around the coffee table. It wasn’t time wasted.

It was time spent learning.

It’s normal to feel regret over “wasted years”, but regret is temporary and not debilitating. You were learning something, and there is such a thing as a learning curve.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off…

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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1 Response to Wasted Years: Shame, Guilt or Regret?

  1. Lane says:

    Love this.


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