In Christian Smith’s worthwhile read, Lost in Transition he identifies “no regrets” as a bolted on belief for many of our young adults. When one lives without regret where is the impetus to right a wrong? If you allow yourself to feel no regret, what would prompt you to repair? If we never feel regret we must feel justified. If our behaviors are always just, we must see ourselves as righteous. If we think of ourselves as righteous and others as problems, are we thinking rationally or rationalizing? Living without regret is self deception, isn’t it?
No regrets leads to no repair. No repair leads to a sense of righteousness even though we know we’re sideways with some in our circle. Real regret, on the other hand, is the gateway to transforming together. When I regret how I’ve treated another, I’m no longer self absorbed. Instead, I’m actually imagining what it must have felt like in another’s shoe. I’m not seeing an object in my path, but instead another person.
Real regret leads to repair and repair leads to real relationship. Real relationship leads to real results. Real results attracts results oriented people toward you. The stronger and humbler you become, the stronger teammates you attract. Fact. This week I took some time to reflect on why I was sideways with another. My natural state was to blame them, not look at the block of wood blinding my perspective. Once I took the time to slow down, I saw the problem was not in them it was squarely in me. I felt real regret. Did not sit well with my soul. Bummed me out at how off base I’ve been. Once I got my thoughts together, I repaired. It was messy and meaningful. It was restorative. Together we’re transforming. Simple, not easy.
Your people are not your problem, leader. Your lack of regret, may be. BTL leaders understand this and understand their tendency. It’s easier to teach a tender heart to toughen up than teach a tough one to build tenderness too. BTL leaders are tough and tender repairmen/women. Real repair, however, begins with regret.
Regret. Repair. Real relationships.Together we transform. Only when led by masters in repair. Truth. Where, leader, are you too proud to repair? Where are you sideways and unwilling to go there? Where are just moving on with some regret you don’t even acknowledge much less release? We’re good, you know, is not good enough. We’re transforming together is the aim. Live hard. Love harder. Freakin’ magic in the makin!
God, help me love harder…