I just finished reading Throw Out Fifty Things during lunch today. I know I said this before, but I am completely blown away by the simplicity of this book... and how it has pushed me forward in my life. Like I said before, I'm not at 50 things thrown out yet, but I'm getting there. The first half of the book is physical STUFF. The second half is emotional CRAP. It was perfect timing for me...
See, when I went to Minnesota on vacation a few weeks ago, I got to visit my old school. I sat in the (newly remodeled and stinking GORGEOUS) chapel for a few minutes and felt like I was face to face with years of regrets... what I didn't do, what I did do, relationships I could have pursued, things I could have changed. It was bittersweet... kind of. More bitter than sweet. The regrets were outweighing the good that happened there (and yes, there was plenty of good).
So I got home and, lo and behold, there is a chapter in this little book on regrets. Coincidence? Let's just say that God has PERFECT timing. I read the chapter and really started examining what I regretted and why. It boiled down to just two or three major categories. So I wrote the words, "I am throwing out the regret that..." and filled in the blank. Three times.
That alone was a relief.
But... I wasn't done.
Next on my list, I wanted--no, needed to redeem those situations. I know and knew without a doubt that God placed me there. I just want to be able to take more than a scholastic education away from this place. (Which is remarkable, since I graduated from there over 7 years ago.) So I began writing. I wrote what I learned from each of the situations where I felt regretful. I wrote about the amazing things that happened or people that I met that are still a part of who I am.
Did you know that because of one of my (now non-) regrets, I feel much more equipped to handle other people's problems in life (yes, all the way to suicide), without absorbing their burden into myself?
Did you know that I have learned to say No tactfully and truthfully, without hurting the other person's feelings? (No, I don't exercise this all the time!)
Did you know that some of my favorite mentors are still in my life? Still encouraging me simply by their presence?
I didn't either. But that's what I learned by throwing out some of those regrets. Pretty amazing, eh?