Regret and the Sound of the Rain (guest post)

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This is a guest post from my new friend, Jackie Lea Shelley. We are both participating in Jeff Goins’ Blog Like a Pro Challenge, where we bonded over cuss words. Please take her words in.  You can find more from Jackie at  


There are a lot of things I would wish I would do differently. I try hard to steer clear of regret, classing it with things like blame, fury, and shame, bits of my emotional map that I would cage, if I could. Regret never has seemed useful. Things are done, and gone, and it was a live performance.

But today, I have regrets. They have little to do with the sound of the rain, except that it reminds me of the day I walked away from a nine year marriage, and that is a regret. I don’t regret that I got married, because I loved, and learned, and lost, and gave birth to the most painfully beautiful and beloved creatures I have ever had the privilege of being completely and deeply terrified to lose. I don’t regret that I walked away, because I was drowning.

I regret that it happened. I regret that it hurt. I regret that I’m still sitting in the middle of the consequences.

I regret all the minutes that I let fear and doubt and shame drive me. I regret that I’m not half the person I wish I was and know that I could be.

For once, I’m allowing myself to wallow in it, in the frustration, the anger, the blame, the rage, the hurt, the grief, the sadness.

I’m letting it in with the sound of the falling rain, uncaging the sorrow.

If there’s anything to come from this indulgence in reflection and emotion, it’s the desire to do better with whatever time is left. I’ve never lived with regret. I’ve never dwelt in blame. I’ve tried to contain my rage. I’ve tried to escape from the grief, to laugh through the sadness, to be defiantly joyful in the middle of sorrow.

But I am willing to live through today with all the unacknowledged regrets and the sounds of the falling rain, if it will help me to choose better, today, tomorrow, all the tomorrows.

Some days are for rain, and some are for sun. Some days I write about hamsters, some days I weep.

Eventually, I get up off the floor and get back to living without regret.