Book Of Regrets
Updated: May 9
In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Captain Kirk is confronted by Dr. Mccoy (Kirk's best friend) and Sybok, the pariah brother of Spock (Kirk's other best friend). Sybok, who appears to have gained the ability to remove human pain and sorrow, has targeted Kirk for an excision. Both men plead with Kirk in vain to allow Sybok to do this.
Jim, try to be open about this.
About what? That I've made the wrong choices in my life? That I went left when I should've gone right? I know what my weaknesses are. I don't need Sybok to take me on a tour of them.
If you'd just unbend and allow yourself--
To be brainwashed by this man?
I was wrong. This "con man" took away my pain!
Dammit, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us -- the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain.
Captain Kirk, I suspect, keeps a book of regrets. It may not be written on paper. It may be etched in his heart. But he has it with him and it is dear to him.
People are often asked whether they have regrets, and it is common to hear some amalgam of the following answer: "I have no regrets. My mistakes have made me who I am."
But having 'no regrets' is not the same as having had regrets and learned something from them. The former could be looked upon as a kind of willful ignorance. The latter indicates that you have arrived at the other side of your regret.
Regret transforms from darkness into light only with reflection. The key requisite is that we learn to take in our regrets without being taken in by them.
Hard to do.
"Abandon all feelings of regret for they unreasonably and detrimentally occupy all your valuable time and leave you debilitated and weak."
Those words I wrote in a journal in early 2020 during a time when some action was eating me up. I believe it was a phone call that didn't go as I'd thought it would.
The dictum, 'Abandon all regrets,' while seemingly valuable on it's face, has proven useless in terms of pointing me in the right direction. It's like standing before a mirror and repeating some affirmation which, despite your best efforts, does not take hold.
Regret and pain are very real phenomenon. They can be ignored and they can be drowned out in various ways, but they don't go away.
I have two journals. One: the above-referenced journal, which is an "everything" journal. The other: a Book of Regrets. If I could take one with me to a desert island it would be the Book of Regrets. It has proven the more useful one.
Aspire to become someone who faces their actions. If you decide they don't gel with how you see yourself, you are free to change course. Aspire to be someone who doesn't ignore their sorrow but rather aims to transform it into something useful. Maybe something beautiful.