Correction, Not Prevention

I recently paid a trip to my dermatologist for a few “corrective therapies”. For those of you who are familiar with skincare guidance, a theme you frequently hear is prevention, not correction – this refers to wearing sunscreen, not smoking, etc. Clearly this is a warning I didn’t heed as my face is a constellation of sun spots, freckles, lines and scars – thank goodness for concealer (and dermatological laser beams).

After the doctor’s visit (and dropping a big chunk of change on services not covered by insurance), I contemplated this “prevention, not correction” approach and wondered whether or not it should apply to life as well as skincare. I came to the conclusion that with life, I want to do exactly the opposite: I would much rather correct something, keeping the life lessons that go with the experience, than prevent it altogether.

When I reflect on my past, I really don’t have any regrets. Trust me, there are countless times where I wish I used better judgment. COUNTLESS. But I define “regret” to mean that I would do something completely different should the opportunity to go back in time and re-live the situation present itself. But even in those many times when I used bad judgment, I gained some kind of lesson, perspective or knowledge from the experience that I carry with me today as an older and “wiser” person. While I am the first to admit that I am flawed, I am also glad to be who and where I am thanks to the lessons learned over the past 30-plus years.

Unfortunately, neither laser beams nor concealer have the ability to correct some of life’s mistakes, both those caused and received – a broken heart, overwhelmed and stressed minds, overworked body, hurt feelings, dents in cars (or maybe that’s just mine). Don’t get me wrong, I never want to intentionally do something bad or hurtful to another person – however, I know that it has happened, and for that I am sorry. With any luck, I learned from my mistake and am a better person because of it.

While hopefully moving forward I will keep my focus on prevention when it comes to skincare, when it comes to life I look forward to (unintentionally, of course) continuing to make mistakes, doing stupid things, using bad judgment … and not beating myself up over it. I’ll know better the next time.

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