Friday, April 6, 2012


In a rare fit of cleaning, I came across a sticky note jammed in a remote pocket of my briefcase. I've no recollection of having jotted down three phrases, nor can I guess what triggered them. No doubt I found them thought provoking. I still do.
~ nostalgic regret
~ adherence to outcomes
~ fearful anticipation
My questions:
~ Can these be used in a positive way? Is merely the awareness of them sufficient?
~ There seems to be a cause-and-effect relationship between the three, but I'll be darned if I can figure out which is the cause and which is the effect.
I'd love to hear your point of view.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I think each of these phrases can be used in a positive way. When I think of nostalgic regret I think of situations like a lost friendship or a lost love. Over time the pain, anger, or negativity diminishes and we are able to see not only what was wrong but also what we've lost. Sometimes we may regret the past, and sometimes we can just be thankful for the time that was had, realizing that it was a gift but that it was also time to move on.

When I think of adherence to outcomes I am reminded of my sometimes stubborn tendency to plow straight through a situation as I think it ought to be, forgetting to collect wisdom from others along the way or listen to those who have already traveled a similar path. Am I so caught up in a desired outcome that I lose the beauty of an unplanned path? Am I so set in my ways that I cannot see another point of view?

Fearful anticipation can mean many things, but it will often accompany positive events. Graduations, marriages, the birth of a child...all are accompanied by degrees of fear and hope. Do we let the fear rule our decisions? Do we forge ahead and along the way develop courage we didn't realize we could have? Like exercising new muscles, sometimes fearful anticipation can make this a difficult journey, more difficult than it needs to be. I have often felt fearful anticipation when trying something new. Keeping sight of the goal, savoring the moment, and being open to change are all aspects of fearful anticipation that help us to continue on a chosen path even when an uncertain outcome looms ahead.

I think awareness of each of these phrases is an important part of learning about ourselves and learning to adapt to life. Usually when we ignore any of them it is to our detriment, and sometimes to the detriment of those we love. Whether we can live with our decisions is far less important than how we live with them. It may be sufficient to be aware of them, but it is better to examine and learn from them.