"Let us cry for the spilt milk, by all means, if by doing so we learn how to avoid spilling any more. Let us cry for the spilt milk, and remember how, and where, and why, we spilt it. Much wisdom is learnt through tears, but none by forgetting our lessons." -- Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
I remember being told by an elderly aunt long ago to never cry over spilt milk. Meaning that the mistakes of the past should remain there and that we should never harbor regrets over it. Easier said than done. Because truth of the matter is I cry, in fact bawl, over what has gone by and over mistakes that were made. But did I learn? Not always. You see, when tears come it washes away all resolve you may have valiantly raised to move away from the pain that gnaws at your soul. All you ever focus on is your misery. So have I learned.
But now, even if I do still cry it's with a difference. I have learned in the midst of all the tears to determinedly focus on the goal of learning whatever lessons are presented to me through that unpleasant experience or experiences, I can understand that it's all for my further learning and growth. Not always easy, I must say, especially when the wounds of disappointment, frustration, failure, uncertainty, insecurity, or false expectations remain fresh in memory and prick with every thought. Yet in wanting to learn what should be learned I get to analyze... to break it apart and stare at the broken pieces hard... searching for the why --- how --- where or what went wrong. Eventually the answers come out.
Now the sad memory still stings but maybe a tear or two may flow. But just like the sun rises every morning, a smile too rises from the heart which knows that it has learned well and acknowledges that it has been made wiser, so much wiser, by it.