Well, we’ve gotten through the first month of 2016. How’s everyone faring? Is it what you envisioned? Or are you beating yourself up because you feel like your life plan has gone off course? I truly believe that there are no wrong turns, no accidents. We are the sum of our experiences and everything that touches us, is a building block that contributes to the creation of YOU, I, ME. I guess what I’m saying is: I don’t believe in regrets. “Mistakes” or even “failures”, in my eyes, are victories– because they are great opportunities to learn and grow.
I recently had a patient who came to me who had been dealing with some personal issues. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking– “How does she know that?” Well, I may not be a therapist, but as a dentist, there is a deep level of trust that develops with patients, one that I honor and respect. Think about it, one’s mouth and overall dental care, can be quite an intimate affair. As a caregiver, I thrive on helping and connecting with my patients and giving them personalized care. As a result, sometimes a patient will confide in me and share some personal aspect of their lives that is giving them stress or concern.
This particular patient had been neglecting some important aspects of their lives–including their dental care. When they finally got into my chair, I discovered that there was decay in a few teeth. This required a couple of root canals and a dental implant.
At first, the patient was kicking themselves about waiting too long to come to my office, resulting in the loss of their tooth. But I pointed out, that if they hadn’t come when they did, they most certainly could have lost 3 teeth instead of 1. The bottom line is, you cannot change the past. And every experience has a purpose in our lives, whether we see it clearly or not. Hindsight is 20/20, but their is no benefit in looking back in self criticism or regret.
This patient has learned a valuable lesson and I guarantee that they won’t repeat this course of neglect again. Cosmically, when they left my office that day–they bumped into an old acquaintance. And upon their follow up visit, they told me that they’d been happily dating for the past month!
You see, everything happens for a reason. We’re only human, so don’t beat yourself up about “what ifs” or “should haves”. No looking back.