Sorry as a Modus Vivendi

Childhood diaries contain pages of exciting adventures and happy memories. Later on, as teenagers we divide our experience into weeks or months and, when we are adults, everything reduces to good or bad periods of time. I call mine “stages” and the best part about the bad ones is that they eventually come to an end. Actually, it’s a good thing the good ones are temporary as well because with no suffering or disappointment, there is no genuine appreciation of happiness.

A stage in my life is like a reality show episode in which a certain character gets into the spotlight to have their lives scrutinized and criticized and scorned. Even though I fully deny the “right” to judge others, I seem to have become my “favourite” subject to judge lately.

What bothers me is that I used to have no regrets. Now I feel so sorry for making some of my decisions and even though I know that the past cannot be changed and choices cannot be taken back, I just don’t know how to come to terms with myself. I’ve heard that we are supposed to forgive ourselves and in theory second chances seem like the right thing to do…but when it comes to my own life I don’t find what it takes to provide enough understanding or clemency.

Normally, I would say that empathy is my strongest, most defining feature. I simply recognize and share people’s feelings and - too often- I make poor judgments based on this “ability”. I often care about the others’ feelings so much, I would rather see myself hurt than them.

To be perfectly honest, my irrational concern for the welfare and happiness of others has often been the source of my behavior which was so detrimental to me. Now here I am, almost unable to go forward because of my heavy load which seems to get only heavier in time. However, I cannot say that I didn’t learn anything from my mistakes. And, it is also true that they have made me a stronger, even a better, more understanding person. Now I find no difficulty in choosing right over wrong. I just wish I hadn’t had to get my wisdom at the price of so much remorse.