I am a fan of “Warehouse 13”, a sci-fi show that was on the air from 2009 to 2014. The show is about a secret warehouse in the hills of South Dakota that houses ‘artifacts’ – things like Lewis Carroll’s mirror, the sharpest Samauri sword ever made, Lucretia Borgia’s comb, etc. The show follows two secret service agents (Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer) as they hunt down and ‘contain’ pesky artifacts. The artifacts eventually up in the Warehouse.
I recently watched an episode of the show entitled, “Regrets”. Sans details, Myka and Pete find themselves in a prison that has experienced a high rate of ‘suicides’. The deaths were actually due to people trying to outrun their regrets. Pete eventually realizes what’s going on. When his regret (that he didn’t tell his fireman father he had a feeling about this death before he died) shows up, Pete speaks to the regret. Pete tells the apparition of his father that his death was not Pete’s fault. Pete’s regret goes away and Pete encourages Myka to speak to her regret. She does and all’s well that ends well.
I thought that was an interesting concept – speaking to your regret. I have regrets from my marriage, my children’s childhoods, etc. I thought I would use Pete’s tactic whenever one of those regrets comes up. I tried that over the weekend. I spoke to the regret, telling it what I was feeling at the time, that I had been selfish, etc. I did not let the regret get the best of me.
As crazy at it sounds, sometimes it helps to speak to your regrets, to speak to your past. What would you tell your regrets? How did you feel at the time? Did you have any knowledge, abilities, etc. that caused what you regret? Did you not do something you should have? Pretend your regret is a person standing in front of you – apologize to the regret, clarify your actions, and acknowledge your part in the regret.
Regrets can be strong and have a great deal of power over us if we let them. In the show, the characters broke the power of their regrets by acknowledging them, speaking truth to them, and understanding their part in the regret.
There is also power in speaking aloud to those regrets. No longer are they festering in your mind, but they are out in the open. If you feel like you cannot do this alone, ask a trusted friend to sit with you as you speak to your regrets. If you have a long list of regrets, work on them slowly, not all at once. Healing comes a little bit at a time. You will be overwhelmed if you speak to all your regrets at once.
Give yourself grace as you deal with your regrets. This is not an exercise to make you feel bad about yourself, but an exercise that will set you free from those pesky “artifacts” (regrets). Stay tuned. . . .