Rising Above Regret


Today's Sacred Sunday Song
Blue Light Bandits ft. Joel Ansett
(Click to listen, sip + read)

My family is away this weekend.

It's the first time in the whole of my life as a mother that I have had more than one consecutive night home alone(!!). 

There is something so sweet about being in my home space with my candles and mugs and music (turned up way louder than when my people are here) all to myself. 

I have been giving myself the gift of doing whatever I want: ordering out, taking a bath, watching Gilmore Girls, recording Academy trainings (woot!) and reading for hours. 

And somewhere in the midst of cracking open to the feelings that have been keeping tucked away, I've found myself exploring and excavating the emotional nooks + crannies that life leads us to rushing by.

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call...one of those calls that you don't want to get.

My best friend from college's dad passed away suddenly while on vacation in Hawaii. 

He was like a second dad to me in our 20s. He was a deep and reverent and beautiful soul in his own special way.

And just like that...I can't pick up the phone to hear his voice anymore.

Another dear friend is in the process of losing his dad who has progressive cancer. 

He has been chronicling the wisdom of this poetic + painful experience and the sage lessons he is gathering like pennies on the path from his dear dad. 

The losses my friends are grappling with, the leaves falling down all around us in this new becoming-old season got me thinking about regret...about the things we can't get back...the days and the hours and the minutes in between.

It's got me thinking about the life I traded in almost 5 years ago so I could be more present for my every day, so I could slow down to focus on what's most important to me instead of running from what I didn't want to face. 

And so here I sit, at our family table with the paint stains and the faded rings from too many cups to count, I ask myself: 

What will you regret having missed out on once it's gone?

As I breathe in deeply and allow myself to rise above the wellspring of my tears...the next question floats to the surface:

These relationships, these sacred moments, these memories that lay in wait for you, sweet sister, what are you trading them in for?

I never like what lives on the other side of that question.

Because, like so many of us, there lives the shadows of my deep-seated fears: of not being enough, of not accomplishing my big dreams, of not making enough money to stay "safe." 

This version of me lives on a mental treadmill...sprinting for her life...clinging to the idea that once it's all tucked in and automated, once the boxes are ticked and the house is clean...we will be ready to celebrate.

But here's what I know for sure: 

Ready and someday will never come because ready and someday are born in our right now. 

What is keeping us from picking up the phone, getting on the plane or driving home to the people that matter the most?

What keeps us from turning the page on a new year still living in the perpetual patterns that drain what's most important from our sweet selves?

What stops us from rearranging our lives NOW to spend our days in the space of what is sacred?

I wish for you and me that we live our lives rising above regret any chance we get.

I wish for you and me that we find the courage to step in to truth and tender moments to touch what's real. 

I wish for you and me that we reorganize and reorient our lives to point them in the direction of what matters most of all. 

Seeing you. Believing in you. Encouraging you in all realms of being...

You can do this. Keep going.  

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Amber Lilyestrom3 Comments