FEAR IS TEMPORARY – REGRET IS FOREVER
By Jane Dovidio-Gagliardo
When we were young most of us were afraid of many things that really had no impact on our lives… or did it? Fear is an emotion that we learn and, subconsciously, reinforce throughout our lives. It can keep us from becoming or accomplishing many things. Have you experienced fear and its’ consequence, regret, at some point during your life? Oh, but regret is worse… much worse. As we age, we come to realize that the fear we never faced and conquered left us with regrets. Think for a moment. What fear did you experience that you now look back on and realize you gave way too much power? I’ll share a few of my fears with you with the hope you will gain some important insight into the stagnating and devastating impact it has on life.
Not pursuing a college degree is one of the regrets I have lived with for some time. My father didn’t believe women should be educated. Because I feared my father I never challenged him. So, instead I fell in love, got prego and got married. But the burning desire to go to college never left me. Raising my children my husband and I made sure they were all college graduates. But as I got older, my fear that I would fail in my attempt to obtain a college degree got stronger. The negative words my father always spewed “You’re too stupid to go to college” moved into my mind and took up residence in my psyche. “You’re dumb. You can go to beauty school or secretarial school and that’s it. You probably won’t even be able to pass those classes; and I won’t pay for any of it.” I lived with him for 17 years of my life and never attempted to go to college. I took a class here and there; but was always fearful I would fail. I regret not pursuing my college education. So now, at the age of 68 years young, I’m getting my college degree by taking on-line classes. I’m doing it; and man is it hard. And it’s going to take me a little time. But I’m going to do it!
Another fear I had was losing my husband who died, suddenly, of a heart attack. Another fear realized… and there was nothing I could do about it. After spending more than half my life with this man, he freaking died. And this was a fear I had absolutely no control over. My regret was that I wish I had been with him when he took his last breath. But as my mom always said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan.” Another fear I have is losing my memory. So, I do word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and I read a lot. Then I ask myself questions about something I read or learned the day before. My regret with that? Well, I’m not sure. I think my fear is so great that there’s no regret and I hope there won’t be any. And believe me, I’m definitely not a regret junkie waiting around for the next fear I might develop to transform into regret.
My point with sharing all of this with you is to help you learn from my experience with fear. Everything we go through in life is a lesson. Our job is to learn and prepare ourselves to grow to new heights in our development as human beings. “Fear Is Temporary, Regret Is Forever.” Therefore, I encourage you to face your fear and be determined to rise above it. Talk about it because if you learn about your fear and gain a better understanding of it, you will never have to regret that you allowed it to fester and take control of your life.
I leave you with the following quote and hope that you will allow it to resonate deep within you and reinforce your determination to not allow fear and regrets to become the compass by which your steps are guided “I’d Rather Regret The Things I’ve Done, Than Regret The Things I Haven’t Done.” (Lucille Ball)
Stay Safe. Stay Strong. Stay Fearless.