Funny word, Layogenic. German is a cool language, they have words to depict sayings not just a single entity. This specific term is defined as “person seems attractive from afar but not close up”. You may be wondering how this term got me to the topic of regret. I just read this article on msn.com by Diana Bruk about “this is the biggest regret in life most people have”. What a title to ring ya in! It’s like those articles that start with “I tried Hello Fresh, and here’s what happened!” As if I’m expecting someone to have lost 800 pounds or die or something! Anyways, this article reads as is “We focus so much on the decisions we make in the moment, but a new study published in the journal Emotion indicates that the old adage still rings true: it’s not the things you do in life that you regret—it’s the things you don’t do” This got me thinking. The article goes on to state the survey concluded we regret not achieving our Ideal Self– the self we aspire to be, rather the our Ought Self, the one we actually are because of responsibilities. Now, for the ever so lovely Rachel Steward Kicker, isn’t that really all bullshit?
Hear me out: We all have responsibilities, even as a child. But aren’t those responsibilities a direct consequence of our controlled decisions? What I mean is this, If I don’t want a car payment, I shouldn’t buy a car. If I want to have more money, Why buy a house or a 5 dollar heavenly Starbucks coffee that I can make at home? (probably because I swear there’s crack in it…not because I lack will power) If I want a different job, then … get a different job. You see what I mean? If you don’t want to pick up dog shit, dont buy a damn dog! This notion that we are trapped in someone else’s dogma by default is all complete baloney. Yes we must abide by laws to make sure the livelihood and safety of others is of utmost importance, but as for everything else, it’s really all on you. Yes, there are certain things out of our control. We can’t take the wheel for someone about to run into a median, we cant go inside and stop that tumor from replicating and reeking havoc without medical assistance and even then its not a guarantee, we can’t pull the sun out from the behind the clouds, yes these are things out of our hands. But, as for a life well lived, and regret? Biggest hoax there ever was. Think I’m insane and downplaying a hard road to happiness? Read no further because you won’t like what’s coming…
It really is that easy. The choice is there, this is not societies way of holding you hostage. NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL A DAMN THING WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT. Now, lets have a look in the mirror, Rach. I will be the first to tell you I get easily frazzled and up in arms over little things, in which I let consume me. Remember that anxiety from my Highway Hypnosis entry, yeah that dark cloud creeps up a lot. For example: I AM TERRIFIED OF LOSING MY JOB. Seriously. I break at any sign of me not doing what I am suppose to in the eyes of authority. I plague myself with the thoughts of others about me and my work. Now, I know I am an excellent teacher, I have a giant bucket of thank you’s from students from all walks of life and their parents over the years to prove it. I even had a co worker so kindly drop by this morning to tell me about a group of students praising my “realness” and “care for her students”. And yet, I have to convince myself of this every day I walk into work. Everyday I make myself start at the bottom of the totem pole, usually resulting from negative self-talk, and any little mistake I make is game over, I’m canned, that’s it for me! Its ridiculous. I am ludicrous– only if that were the pronoun truth, then I’d be singing MOVE B**** GET OUT THE WAY to myself every morning– There is no way I should fall to hiccups and obsess over so much negative energy when I am doing great things in my classroom. Again, here comes the Rachel Steward Kicker–ITS BULLSHIT. I make myself depressed and physically ill over what? Small mistakes? I AM HUMAN. We all make mistakes. But, I have a choice. I have the ability to stop giving the world consent to feel less than I’m worth. Its no ones fault but my own. And here is the fallacy of regret–
If I don’t want to feel small in the eyes of someone, THEN I SHOULDN’T! Now, with this being said, please know just because the solution is easy, I am well aware the journey to accomplish this is a life-long battle, one I’m willing to take and remain on the front line for, though, because that is a life worth living. I constantly give myself new opportunities every day to try again, let my anxiety perish into the depths of POSITIVE self-talk (this one is very hard for me), and just to calm the eff down! No more of this hogwash of ideal self, and ought self… THEY ARE ONE IN THE SAME. And, you my friend, are in complete control, you hold the reigns to your “self” what ever that may look like! Each day might look different from the last, and for the love that is all things, THAT IS OKAY! Stop using regret as a safety net to feel sad for yourself, or an excuse to not have done something you were too scared to do. Regret doesn’t exist, choices do. AND YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF MAKING THEM. I may use capitals to emphasize my statements, but I’m not shouting, okay maybe I’m yelling a little bit, but it is because you have the power, you have the strength, it is there inside you. Do not lie to yourself or let societal factors tell you other wise. You are tough, you are here, you are human.
Layogenic: Attractive from afar, but not close up. Usually this view of Ideal Self, who we want to be is more attractive from afar. Once we manifest our aspirations, sometimes its not what we thought, its not as attractive close up. This is why an Ideal Self, isn’t real. How can we regret something we DIDNT DO, if in fact we didn’t do it? How do we even know how we would react to this thing we didn’t do? Who we are is a direct repercussion of all our choices. If you are unhappy, then change your choices, redirect your sails, let the wind take you elsewhere. But don’t say you have regrets. Because ultimately the things we do, don’t do, whatever, lead you to where you are right now, reading these very words. If you wish to change where you are then do so, and you’ll find happy somewhere along the way as long as you keep trying, which inevitably, then you will be thankful for your past experiences and not hoard regret. If you are happy where you are right now, then you are already thankful for the haves and have nots of your life. So if you choose to believe in this notion of regret, at least accept that its temporary and not a way of life. Remember, to change yourself, is to change your choice, and that you can.