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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

No Ragrets

 

 

Recently, I re-watched We’re the Millers and was reminded of character Scottie P’s misspelled tattoo, “No Ragrets.” He was apparently oblivious to the fact that “ragrets” was misspelled, so it makes sense that the character wouldn’t be uneasy about his life choice.

 

Regret may be defined as the emotion of sorrow or the experience of disappointment over something that has happened or been done, especially regarding a loss or missed opportunity. Interestingly, I’ve met people who express not regretting a single decision made in their lifetime.

 

Viewing such a claim through the lens of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I can appreciate how one may not experience sorrow after having rationally processed an imperfect decision. After all, this is the essence of unconditional life-acceptance—letting go of the illusion of control regarding past events.

 

Of this, I’m reminded of lyricist Aesop Rock’s song “No Regrets,” featured on his 2001 album Labor Days. The track depicts the life of an artist, Lucy, someone who lives her life according to her own interests and goals, and who is unconcerned with the opinions of others.

 

In one of the most meaningfully existential hip hop tracks I’ve ever heard, the third verse states:

 

Lucy was 87, upon her death bed

At the senior home, where she had previously checked in

Traded in the locks and clips for a head rest

Traded in the charcoal sticks for arthritis, it had to happen

And she drew no more, just sat and watched the dawn

Had a television in the room that she’d never turned on

Lucy pinned up a life’s worth of pictures on the wall

And sat and smiled, looked each one over, just to laugh at it all

No Rico, he had passed about 5 years back

So the visiting hours pulled in a big flock of nothing

She’d never spoken once throughout the spanning of her life

Until the day she leaned forward, grinned and pulled the nurse aside

And she said, “Look, I’ve never had a dream in my life

Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued

I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done

So I’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one!”

Well! The nurse jumped back

She’d never heard Lucy even talk

Especially words like that

She walked over to the door, and pulled it closed behind

Then Lucy blew a kiss to each one of her pictures

And she died

 

To a cynical ear, Lucy’s story may represent the depiction of a self-centered individual. However, I interpret her tale as a person who realized the finite nature of life and chose not to self-disturb over the trivial impressions of other people.

 

On a more personal level, I think about regret related to a misspelled tattoo I received that has since been corrected. Human fallibility of the tattoo artist, as well as my own imperfect nature, resulted in an event I now regret.

 

 

At this point, the skeptical reader may say, “Deric, wait a minute. As an REBT practitioner, how is it that you could come to regret something? Why don’t you practice what you preach and accept the matter unconditionally?”

 

Unlike some people I’ve met, who claim to maintain no regrets at all, I have many examples of decisions I’ve made and behavior I’ve exhibited which represent disappointment. Regarding the misspelled tattoo, I’m disappointed in myself for not having taken a moment to properly spellcheck the artist’s template.

 

Nevertheless, I’m not upset about the matter. I don’t experience sorrow or anger when reflecting upon the mistake for which I accept personal accountability. Likewise, I don’t lament the fact that I have an activistic tattoo that represents an ideology I once valued though no longer appreciate.

 

Rather, I’m merely disappointed that I didn’t pay closer attention to the tattoo template. This constitutes regret. Unlike Scottie P, who was seemingly oblivious to the misspelling of his tattoo and thusly regretted nothing about his decision, I maintain a healthy level of disappointment concerning my ink.

 

Still, I imagine that when I meet my inevitable end, like Lucy, I can go in peace by understanding that I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done. I’ve had some regrets, though I choose not to upset myself about them. To me, that’s a life well-lived.

 

How about you, dear reader? Have you perfected every aspect of your life, remaining free of regret? Are you perhaps oblivious to your own shortcomings, like Scottie P? “No ragrets,” nah'm sayin'?

 

Have you accomplished all you set out to do and now remain prepared to die with a grin on your face, like Lucy? Are you perhaps in need of processing some hapless mistakes for which regret represents more than simple disappointment?

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

References:

 

Aesop Rock. (2022, May 11). No regrets [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/_kdOHXaes_8?si=Fp8sO_mFlD19KhTU

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/meaningful-purpose

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/personal-ownership

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Ryan. (2021, November 2). No regerts: This ‘no ragrets’ temporary tattoo is the ultimate tattoo fail prank [Image]. Odditymall. Retrieved from https://odditymall.com/no-ragrets-temporary-tattoo

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Aesop Rock. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop_rock

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Labor Days. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Days

Wikipedia. (n.d.). We’re the Millers. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We%27re_the_Millers

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