You may have heard of Jess Quinn – a young woman (and a family friend) who suffered cancer as a nine year old resulting in having her leg amputated. A tragedy and something she found very hard for many years. But now she says she wouldn’t change a thing, because if she hadn’t lost her leg she would never have met so many interesting people or had such amazing experiences – such as modelling, writing her first book “Still Standing”, Dancing with the Stars, and becoming a brand ambassador and social media influencer – all by age 30!
Most of us experience bad stuff at some stage in our lives. It is part of being human. But is it bad, or do we need to think differently?
When we have “bad” experiences common reactions are: Blaming, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Grieving and then finally Acceptance (hopefully). Most people go through these stages, but not necessarily in that order.
When my marriage failed I blamed and was angry, then sad and grieving. But like Jess, now I wouldn’t change a thing – I have two wonderful sons and an awesome step-daughter, and a special second husband; have met many interesting people; travelled; learnt to snow ski; ride a Harley motor cycle; and have had many adventures I would not have had otherwise.
My husband has a Tibetan tattoo on his forearm that spells “No Regrets”, and he lives by that motto. Life is precious and too short to have regrets.
According to research the 10 most common regrets people have are:
- Not travelling when you had the chance
- Staying in a bad relationship
- Caring too much about what other people think
- Being afraid to say “I love you”
- Working too much
- Not playing with your kids enough
- Not spending enough time with your parents
- Never taking a big risk
- Not quitting a terrible job
- Not realising how beautiful and special you are.
A great list by which to evaluate personal success!
Which brings me to the bad thing we currently share– the Covid-19 pandemic and lock downs. I feel very sorry for people who lose their livelihoods or loved ones, people not able to return to NZ etc.
Initial reactions are likely blaming, denial, anger, grief etc as outlined above.
Despair and wishing things were different is the first stage. Acceptance allows us to create something good from what we thought was a tragedy.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell