Once I've made a mistake, can it ever be retroactively un-done?

Sure, we can make amends and learn for the future.

But can I ever un-speak hurtful words?

Not in the concrete sense.

But there's more to life than the concrete.

Regret is a multi-level experience.

Sometimes, we rue our behavior because we don't like the fallout. When you've hurt someone important, and the relationship has become uncomfortable, you say you're sorry.

Why? Because you want the pain to go away.

That's regret; but it's not transformative remorse.

It's 'relationship management'.

Why? Because you haven't experienced genuine character change.

You're uncomfortable with the reaction, not the action itself; you're modifying your behavior based on someone else's response, not your own principles.

Real change doesn't happen that way.

Even when it's inspired by something external, real transformation needs to spring from within.

Transformative regret needs to be holistic.

I believe that G‑d created me with the capacity to be a true mentsch, with character and integrity.

I have to envision that potential as my gold standard.

Every day, I need to measure my behavior against that potential.

Because I want to do better.

Not because of you.

Because of me.

Because of my destiny.

I care about others' hurt feelings. And I need to deal with them. But my rehabilitation starts with me.

Your displeasure is helpful; it alerts me to a possible character-misalignment. When I've searched and recalibrated myself in a serious way, you'll know.

Because I'll express it.

In a genuine way.

Because it flows from me.

In the scope of my life, I can transform this mistake into a shining moment of growth and self-improvement.

No, I can't control people's memories; I may never be able to undo the past in their minds.

But in my life, between me and G‑d, if I'm using my mistakes as powerful springboards for positive change, then I've done the impossible.

I've reached back in time and transformed a negative event into a positive force for growth.

That's the way I see it.

I can only pray that you'll see it this way too.