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Oct 2015

set aside
the 31st day of every month,
even if not on Gregory's calendar,
in actuality,
it's an always monthly revelation

this 31st day
of everyones life,
is a set aside,

set aside

the regrets that
Halloween haunt,
those overly generous ghosts,
goblins, too eager to remind and provide,
the tainted candy aplenty of
failed past deeds,
and worse,
the misdeeds

- the quantity insufficient
of unuttered "I love you"

- the lost, unrecoverable bidding of farewell finales failures,

- leaving unsaid that which
weakness delayed,
sadly now, a ticket voided
by an eternal expiration moment

the lost boys of opportunities
who live in the endless hell of
isolation in the Never-to-be-Land

- the right course we chose to

- that person we should never have
let go of

- for the easier, less costly,
charm of the error self-deceptions

- the damnable accursed if-onlys,
visible only in the rearview mirror of dreams
that with nightmare blended,
now can only go

- attempt escaping,
both slow and quick,
from the maximum security prisons
built to be inescapable,
where you offer yourself
daily meals of only the stones of pain,
hopes skin-scratched off
as irretrievable lost,
poisonous diet of radioactivity

you own these regrets and
do not deny,
letting them go to partial freedom
even harder,
even worse,
now, when compared
to the bitterness of the
of original errors past committed

no absolution-complete,
these persistent insanities,
found in our possession,
unable to be defeated

and yet,
the thought,
a passerby muttering,
by sharing, ours, yours,
we will uncover where the yellow brick road
to redemption commences

have oft confessed

the sadness of the
loss of living children, ex's,
who cannot forgive mutual trespasses

wasted anger that won't cease,
bile-ing and piling up,
like ten pound weights ankle permanently fastened to
the bitter buds of your tongue

the security of every wrong fork
incorrectly chosen,
calculating, over-valuing,
safety over risk

for within the chances untaken
lived the far better possibility
of a life without regrets

struggle everyday to
not allow the days
tween the first and the thirtieth,
to infect
the 31st day

this monthly maker reserved for
confession and atonement
and forgiveness granted by pardon
by you,
the one absolute ruler

for sentences that already deserve release,
if only for time served

all ready for forgiving,
and if yet still deemed unforgivable,
be eased by the the finer quality of
the humanity of
the overlooked blessing
that in the
never forgetting,
are deep buried in the roots of


October 31, 2015
7:10 am

You carry the weight of a regret – maybe even a bundle of regrets – that you just can’t seem to put down. Perhaps in your more honest moments, you think you don’t deserve to let it go. By carrying it around, you feel you’re doing a kind of penance. But somewhere inside you realize that carrying it around is not doing you or anyone any good. It’s not making the situation right for others. And, it’s not making you a better person. Still, walking away from the regret seems impossible and, perhaps, irresponsible and uncaring.

This dilemma is more common than you might think. Being human practically comes with a guarantee that you will do things you regret. Even if you haven’t been able to move on, others do. They find a way to come to terms with their regret, freeing them to enjoy life. You can do this, too, if you choose to face your actions and the human error behind them.

If you struggle with regret, you may have already taken a step in the right direction by taking responsibility for what you did or didn’t do. It’s important that you acknowledge this responsibility – or “own up to it” – without making excuses for your mistake. It’s okay, and even important, to understand the reasons for your actions, but that does not excuse you.

At the same time, though, it’s important to balance “owning” your actions with acknowledging and accepting that you’re simply human. Everyone has limits. There are some things you can’t, or simply don’t, know – that’s just part of being human. And even when you do know better, you will sometimes make errors in judgment. You will, at times, act emotionally and irrationally. You have weaknesses and flaws and you will make mistakes.

Think about the friends, children, or other family whom you accept and love despite their imperfections. Your acceptance of them as human is the same feeling you need to practice for yourself. Because, in reality, your mistakes are a testament to your humanity, not your failing as a person.

Even as you come to terms with your regret, you will still feel upset about it – whether that means you feel guilty, sad, or some other emotion.

Here are 5 steps you can take to help you start working through those feelings.

1. Don’t deny or suppress these emotions. Allow them in. They are part of you. Just as you would soothe an emotional child, choose to soothe yourself.

2. Tell yourself that you will be okay. Act compassionately toward yourself. You might go for a hike in the woods or take a long, hot bath.

3. Reach out to a caring and supportive friend who can help you feel better.

4. If you can, make amends. Say you are sorry. Do something kind for the person you hurt.

5. If that’s not possible, you might commit to helping others in similar situations. For instance, if you realize that you haven’t been there to help loved ones through troubled times, you can choose to help those  in need now.

Maybe those you’ve hurt will forgive you. Maybe not. Maybe it’s less about what others think and more about your own disappointment in yourself. Whatever the regret is that you carry, you are ultimately responsible for lightening your own load. You must see that you are more than just the mistakes you’ve made.

You may never feel good about the thing you regret. But you can still feel good about being you.
Nat Lipstadt
Written by
Nat Lipstadt  M/nyc
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