"Is there anything you regret?"
I know I always answered in a similar way. It seems to be the popular answer anymore.
"No. Everything I've ever done, good, bad or ugly, has made me into the person I am today. I am quite happy with who I am, you see, so no. There is nothing I can truly regret."
Upon closing the chapter of 2011, I realize I have a much different opinion of myself. As a result, the answer to that question is much, much different.
Seeing the world through new eyes this year has helped me learn many things - many of which have been hard on the heart. Those things which are heart-heavy, however, tend to be just the things that give our souls a good scrubbing... a swift kick in the pants to focus on the things that truly matter.
Now, having been posed that question in rapid fire succession (probably through some societal square-dance that's been passed along through the generations), I hesitate in my response. I don't delve into the deluge of regrets that I've come to terms with and let go of. I also don't quip away the valid (though typically thoughtless) question. Instead, I give a slight nod and answer in as cliched a manner as possible, "Don't we all?"
I don't know which is worse, truth be told: lying to myself regarding the fact that "there's nothing I can truly regret" or allowing the question to roll away, neglecting another opportunity for growth.
Probably the former. Cliched as it may be, the latter rings true and side-steps further investigation.
No matter. Regardless of how public I choose (or don't choose) to make my realizations of regret known, I am much more equipped to accept them, learn from them, and request guidance on shunning them in the future. In that I find peace and, quite honestly, joy. :)
Onwards to 2012 - a year of prayer, self-reflection, and blessings. :)