“When I think about the world today. Like most parents and grandparents, I have concerns about my kid’s and grandchildren’s future—some days it manifests as fear. But I also enjoy my time with them, which doesn’t include worry. We can love and still be fearful. But I am truly not in fear when spending time with my kids and grandkids. I’m in a place of love then. Simply living in the moment.”
Know anyone who lives up to the idiom “Fly by the seat of one’s pants?” It’s basically a person who isn’t afraid to do something even though they don’t experience or training to do it. I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. I like to think of myself as someone who flies by the seat of my pants when it comes to facing different fears and insecurities in my life. However, at one time I was the type of person who flew by the seat of my emotions and know quite a few people who still do.
These people seem to always let whatever emotions they’re feeling at the time, whether it’s happiness, sadness, anger, worry, ect, affect their behaviors and sometimes their actions towards others. Usually this is because they’ve done this all their lives and never practiced restraint or felt a need to change the way they behave. Mostly these types live in the extremes of happiness or the negative emotions they feel over their immediate circumstances.
It took me a long time to stop “living” by the seat of my emotions and simply begin living life. But eventually, through practice and help from people who weren’t afraid to point out my erratic and sometimes hurtful behavior’s, I found an emotional balance that has served me quite well over the years.
I learned many things about myself when I used to go to Alcoholic’s Anonymous and do the Steps, but I didn’t always agree with everything I read in the literature. One of those things was one of the Promises written in the Big Book…”we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” Even with thirteen years of continuous sobriety under my belt, I still feel some regret for not being a better father and husband than I was.
I do, however, agree with the last part of that Promise, and I actually use the way I feel to help others. I explain to people that we can use the sadness, and in many cases anger we feel towards ourselves, to help motivate us to be a better person today.
I get emotional at times when speaking about my past, but quite a few people have told me they feel a connection when I cry. You’d be surprised at how many people relate to feelings of sadness and anger for past regrets, and how much better they feel hearing someone talk about it.
Sometimes regrets are good. Especially when they can help us remember we’re no longer who we used to be. I’m not the same person I was in my drinking days and I’m glad I’m able to use the way I feel about my past to help others.