For many years I watched only one television show on a regular basis. Life was too busy with activities I deemed to be more of a priority… like raising active children with my hubby, completing my PhD program and engaging in work I enjoy! Now, being empty nesters, with grown children who have families of their own, Steve and I have started watching a few programs. One of our daughters urged us to watch NCIS; the other twin daughter pushed us in the direction of Bones. We started watching both. Having caught up on all episodes of these programs, we have slowly ventured out into the world of Netflix. Our son encouraged us to watch Breaking Bad. Steve completed the series but I only inquired about character updates after watching five or six episodes of the too-dark and too-violent drama. Next, we started House of Cards. Although I love watching Kevin Spacey, the day he threw the reporter with whom he was sleeping onto the train tracks, was the day I quit watching the show. Many people suggested we watch Mad Men, but neither of us was smitten with the content or the acclaimed cinematography.
Somehow, we came across The Blacklist. It, too, is overly violent for my taste, but I quickly become intrigued by the uncertainty of who is trustworthy and where the story may roam. James Spader is remarkable, as are many of the other cast members.
Spader plays Raymond Reddington on The Blacklist. He’s one of those “good guy/bad guy” characters, heavily leaning on the bad. The writers of this show come up with some brilliant lines and speeches. This one, spoken by Spader’s character, “Red,” particularly caught my attention:
“People say youth is wasted on the young. I disagree. I believe wisdom is wasted on the old. All you can do is part with it, but very few will take it, least of all the people closest to you. They want no part of it.”
Lord, how many times I wish other people could or would, learn from my mistakes! And how I wish I had learned from the mistakes of others who preceded me.
Then again… what would I have learned about myself had I not gone down the wrong path a time or two… or ten or…! Do I regret some of the behaviors in which I engaged? I very much regret having negatively affected people I love as a result of my inappropriate/hurtful actions. I also regret the emotional and spiritual harm I caused myself by betraying my values.
If you’re thinking, “Don’t live with regret,” or, if you don’t have regret for things you’ve done in the past, please hear me out. The definition of regret is “to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.).” Thank you, dictionary.com! (I always like to thank them. They are one of my online BFFs.)
So yes – I feel sorrow and remorse for hurting others because of my actions. I do not LIVE THERE, in a constant state of sorrow. That’s not living. That would be staying stuck. That would be using my poor choices as a way to remain a victim or to get sympathy. No. I do not live in Remorseville.
I use my 4 ACES to address my “mistakes,” my unhealthy choices. Then I move on and live in the present. You can use them, too. Here’s an example of how. I’ll use the example of driving while under the influence of alcohol, something I (very remorsefully) did regularly when I was in college.
· Driving while intoxicated:
o is dangerous
o is irresponsible
o jeopardizes myself and innocent others
· I accept:
o I had other options that I failed to utilize
o I was irresponsible and acted dangerously
o I put myself and others in jeopardy
· I, alone, am fully responsible for the choice I made to drive while under the influence.
· I have a remorseful attitude at this time about the choices I made to repeatedly drive under the influence.
· I have a grateful attitude that, but for the Grace of God, I never harmed anyone as a result of my driving under the influence.
· I have a positive attitude about having sought help for my addiction and working to help others to find a life of Recovery.
· I am committed to my sobriety and life of Recovery.
· I am committed to helping others find sobriety and Recovery that others may refrain from driving under the influence.
· I am committed to, and willing to put forth ongoing, daily effort into my program of Recovery
· I am committed to not driving under the influence of any mood-altering substances, to include any medications
· I am committed to working with others to prevent others from driving under the influence of mood-altering substances
· I value myself enough to work for improvements in all areas of my life.
· I value my loved ones enough to work on my Recovery every day in order to have the healthiest relationships I can with them
Try using the 4 ACES in your life and see what happens!
The show I have watched for years on a consistent basis? The Young and the Restless. DUH! (Since it started, when I was 10 years old!) Talk about Remorseville! Some of those characters could live there for sure! J