only a few times in my life have i been put in a position of hurting deeply for a friend's pain and struggle. but i remember those times so clearly. each time, my reaction has been disproportionate to the situation. because i love deeply and hurt deeply, i defend strongly.
in high school (or was it junior high?), i embarrassed a friend by standing up for her publicly, when all she wanted was to move past the situation. in college, i took sides and nearly ended a beautiful friendship with my coldness and bitterness. on another occasion, i nearly succeeded at writing off all the good things i learned from someone because they hurt a dear friend of mine. for each poor choice in each situation (and others i've not mentioned here), i am resoundingly sorry.
i regret all of those actions to my core, but in all honesty, part of me is glad i made the mistakes. from these, i learn and grow. regret blooms into change, if allowed to see the light of awareness.
"look not mournfully into the past. it comes not back again. wisely improve the present. it is thine. go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear." - henry wadsworth longfellow