Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't Live a Life with Regrets

Have you ever wondered why things didn't end up the way you planned it to be? Your career, your possessions and even your love life?

Since childhood, I already planned my life. I wanted to be a teacher because I love the feeling of influencing other people, especially kids. At 25, I will get married  and I will have two kids before I reach 30. I will marry my childhood classmate and friend. Our wedding will be in a beach during sunset. I will wear my self-designed wedding gown. Our childhood best friends will be there to celebrate with us. We will spend our honeymoon in Europe. We will live in a two-story house in Metro Manila. This is a picture of a perfect life for me.

But like what the Bible says, God's plans are different from ours. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We may have planned our life ahead of time, but if it's not aligned to God's will, it will never happen. And I accept that. However, I still can't help but wonder about "what could have been" if the events in my life were different. What if my family didn't move to Manila when I was in high school? What if I answered yes when he asked me to be his girlfriend? What if he's not married? What if I enrolled earlier? There are a lot of what ifs and if onlys. But no matter how many times I would ask those questions, I can never turn back the time.

To live a life with regrets is the most miserable life any man could have. And with all those questions running in my mind, I learned these lessons.

  1. Seize the day. You only live once. Tomorrow is not promised. Whatever offer you have today, grab it. It may be lost later. I realized this when I remembered the day he asked me if I could be his girlfriend. With all the reasons that I thought were valid, I said NO. Because I was thinking that one day he would ask me the same question. But he never did.
  2. Don't assume. Clear things up. The way you understand one thing may be different from another person's understanding. Like the example I gave above, I assumed he would ask me again. However, he assumed that it was my final answer. We never gave each other a chance to clear things up. So we ended up living our lives separately.
  3. Be honest. Life is unpredictable. You can never tell what tomorrow holds for you. So in every chance you get, be honest of how you feel. If I were honest back then, when he asked me, we could have ended up together.
  4. Ask questions. It's hard to walk away wondering about something. If you don't understand one thing, don't be afraid to ask questions. One day, he called me early in the morning to tell me that he passed the board exam. He shared his success with me and I was happy. A question was left hanging in my mind, "Why me? I mean, you have a lot of friends, you have your family. But why am I the first person that you called to share the good news?" I asked him just recently and I got his answer. But it's too late.
  5. Be you. Don't allow the opinion of other people affect the way you live your life. You are the master of yourself, don't give them the right to meddle with your affairs. It's only him and me who know our story. We may have shared some pieces of information to some of our friends and heard their opinion, we still chose to remain friends. Because that's what we are. Friends.
  6. Be humble enough to say sorry. All people are capable of committing mistakes and hurting other people's feelings. But only a few ones are capable of acknowledging their faults and saying sorry. Be one of those few. You may not know if you will still be here tomorrow.
  7. Be grateful. Yes, our lives didn't end up the way we planned it to be. But I am grateful. I know that God is too wise to be mistaken. In our plans, we will end up together. But in God's plan, we will be friends forever.
  8. Trust God. We may not know God's reasons why he allow things to happen, but we have to trust Him. He knows that He's doing. He know what's best for us. I enrolled in college, 5 days after my scheduled enrollment. The college of Education has closed because they've reached their limit. So I ended up enrolling in the College of Office Administration. Now, I am working in a corporate office. But I'm happy because I trusted God.

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