“To cast aside regret and fear. To do the deed at hand.”
~ J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers, Gandalf
Regret and fear: these two I have wrestled with throughout this last year. One’s world being shaken sufficiently, basilisks rise from the crevasse of memory to fix the mind in a glare of paralyzing hindsight. Up rear blunders of omission, blind unkindnesses, losses through ignorance. A terrible falling short. It is one’s own errors that are hardest to forgive, in the end, and hindsight produces the most weary breed of sorrow, surely.
What then of doing the deed at hand? I think that therein lies one of the uses of humility, if I understand that virtue at all: to relinquish the desire, or the torment of the failed desire, to have done and been right, in the interest of doing right now and in future. Or as much ‘right’ as one is capable of perceiving. Releasing the tendrils of regret to follow, as best one may, the thread of fresh insight.