If you were to fill two jars, one with regrets and the other with wishes/desires, which would be overflowing?
This was a conversation I had recently with one of my brothers and it strangely tied into what I was talking about while teaching my classes that same week. When I refer to wishes/desires I mean what we hope to gain from life like a true life partner, solid friendships, a fulfilling career, being a mindful parent.
Recent events in my brother's life along with him reading a book about these two jars helped him realize that he was so focused on his regrets that his life was not getting any brighter. His realization was that he could not move forward as he was stuck in the past trying to make up for what cannot be changed. I am sure all of us can relate and/or remember a time when we were stuck. There is a quote from The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron that I was reading in my classes when we had this discussion.
"Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from
seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting."
Regrets can also prevent us from finding joy in the everyday of our lives, the waking up in the morning, hearing the sweet conversations of our children, or even listening to our inner guru (teacher). These past few months I have been working to find the balance of letting myself feel angry about some particularly challenging emotional events in my personal life and my brother's, but working to not let it that anger overflow my jar. Because when my jar of regrets is overflowing I can no longer see my jar of wishes & desires. I know I have missed out on some simple joys but will work on letting my jar of resentments be much smaller than my jar of wishes & desires.
I am a DC based yoga teacher, wife, mother of two kids and three animals who is using yoga both on and off the mat to find balance.