Freedom Blog

Friday, April 26, 2013

How Not To Live With Regret

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

How Not To Live With Regret

Written by Steven Griggs |

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back….. Regret is  only good for wallowing in.                                                                                                                     Katherine Mansfield 

“I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you who you are in the end.”                                                                                             Drew Barrymore

How many times a day do you reminisce or look back on something with regret? How often do you feel sad or remorseful for something that you did or didn't do? Or do you look back and wonder that if you had made different choices some things might have turned out differently?

We all live with regret.

But what is regret? Wikipedia describes it as:

“a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often expressed by the term "sorry."  Regret is often a feeling of sadness, shame, embarrassment, annoyance or guilt.”

Although guilt or shame result in feelings of regret these feelings are more intense and usually directly related to an improper or hurtful personal act. 
Remorse is similar to guilt or shame but in a much more current context and it is usually coupled with the need to apologize or repair the hurt or damage you may have caused.   
But for most of us I believe the regret we feel is a sadness or a longing about something in the past, about missed opportunities or paths not taken.
Regret doesn't exist in the future it’s always about the past.
We take a sad look back in the rear view mirror and see missed opportunities, wrong choices, huge sidetracks and a trail of chaos.
But you have to remember the person looking back on those events is not the same person that was making those decisions.
Of course it is still you, just a different you.
This is your path.
It is who you are.
This YOU! With all your broken hearts, your battle scars, your huge memory bank of experiences.
Appreciate that you've had the opportunity to have these experiences, to feel.
You now know what mistakes not to make, how to recognize and grab opportunities. You understand the warning signs of possible wrong turns. Your antennae are more sensitive.
Forgive yourself of the wrongs you've done, the hurt you've caused. Promise yourself you will never do those things again. And don't. Keep your promise but let it go.
And, best of all, remember that you’re still here, still waking up each morning with a smile on your face, ready to see what today brings.
Still here, greeting each person you meet with a smile and a kind word.
Still here, standing in the forest looking up at a star filled sky.
Still here and thankful.
And the road you've traveled on still leads on.
There are tons of new experiences waiting for you.
There are still many people you can help and support with your experience, your history and your deeper understanding.
Nature wastes nothing. Everything gets reused. And we are the same.
You are valuable because your history, your mistakes, and your missed opportunities translate into valuable knowledge, understanding and compassion.
Pass it on.
Regret is a wasteland.
Don’t look back.