By Tin Bartolome

Posted at Apr 24 2015 12:13 AM | Updated as of Apr 24 2015 08:15 AM

We all have regrets and are often unable to let go. Whether it’s a person or the relationship with that person, something we squandered or wasted, the absence sometimes makes it even harder to let go.

Cravings are felt for things we do not have. We do not miss people who are with us every day. Death seems to erase a person’s faults. We often chase after what we cannot have, we pine for what is forbidden and lest we forget, we waste what we have and later regret not having any more.

Many times, there are no second chances and we cannot undo, redo, revise or make up for what we were unable to do! And because there are no repeats, we look back and stumble often because we are unable to look forward and focus on where we are going.

Give it a thought or two before doing it—or deciding not to do it. Many times, this is easier said than done. There’s this cliché about not being able to take back words already spoken. In the same way, some deeds may never be undone and opportunities lost may never come again.

The damage caused by words linger far longer than physical injury. Name-calling or in some cases, labeling may do more harm than spanking. I am not putting the entire blame on one of my daughter’s former teachers, but I did notice behavioral changes in her after that school year. One time, that teacher spoke to me in front of my daughter, asking me to volunteer as field trip chaperone because she said, “malikot kasi yang anak mo!” I can only imagine what kind of treatment my daughter got from her. That teacher said I should spend more time with my daughter because I did not know her enough. I showed her a journal my daughter and I kept where we answered each other’s letters. I also had a printed copy of some pieces I wrote for an e-zine, some of which detailed my views on raising kids. A few were about my daughter. She shoved the envelope back to me and said she had no time to read those. But she concluded that I had no time for my children.

Labeling, when done by the parents themselves, can be even more damaging. Sometimes, our mistakes as parents may last for generations—unknowingly passed on. The same is true for omissions. When we are away often, we may fail to develop deep relationships with our children and unknowingly allow other people to influence them. Regrets often arise when the kids are grown—because this is when we realize that the gap between our kids and us parents has grown as well. But we should not be too hard on ourselves and dwell on these regrets, instead, we can see what we can do under these circumstances.

To say that one has absolutely no regret is a lie. We all have regrets—no matter how small. Whether it’s something we said or did, or what we failed to say or do—because we are not perfect. We can either embrace or deny it, act on it or wallow in regret and self-pity.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.