Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can’t build on it – it’s only good for wallowing in.
– Katherine Mansfield
I recently heard a conversation in which a respected teacher mentioned that regrets were ok because if we didn’t have them, we might not grow or make different decisions in the future. I was surprised to hear that perspective from this person. Since hearing that comment, I’ve begun to wonder about my beliefs about regret(s). I know that I have had some of these in years past. You probably know the ones – the “shoulda, coulda, wouldas” of our experiences in this life. Sometimes, things simply happen. We say something that we wish we had not said. We make a choice that today we wish we had not made. There is plenty of material to work with, if we are honest with ourselves.
Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.
– Victoria Holt
And then I remembered me. The me of today. The one who is always reading, learning, practicing, loving, accepting, opening and moving forward and taking responsibility for myself, my beliefs, my choices and my actions. If I hold regrets, am I stuck? Am I not honoring my life and all of the lessons it has brought forth in my experience? Are these regrets serving my growth and evolution? My answers to all of these questions returned me to the deep trust that I have in Life. If I trust that which is greater than me and my connection to it, how can I not trust that my experiences have shown me something I needed to know or remember about myself. Even the ones that we call “bad” – as if we have to name each good or bad – have brought me to where I am today and deepened my awareness. I also realized that many of those regrets came from experiences in which I was not the only one involved. I am the only one I am responsible for and I cannot control anyone else. Why let the holding of any regrets keep me stuck, living in a series of past experiences I really can do nothing about today?
Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.
– Fulton Oursler
And then there is this. Allowing past to become prologue, has us living backwards; not moving forward; not embracing the future; not open to our growth potential and opportunities. I have been there. I have done that. I have allowed myself to sit in regret and to be stuck. I have had moments in which I have questioned why I am here. What is the use of a life, if all that it is, is a series of bad experiences, sadness and seemingly insurmountable problems. And then…I realized that my outlook at the time was keeping me from knowing and realizing my light within, and obscuring the view of the possibilities before me, in each and every moment. Yes, the gift of realizing the power of presence helped me free myself of the regret for the past and the fear of the future.
You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.
– C. JoyBell C.
Then, I realized the gift of freedom, of lightness when I let it all go. The old stories I tell myself or carry in my head; the “whys” which underpin the regrets, were no longer the weights keeping me stuck in concrete and unable to take a step forward. No more weights. Only wings…to lift and carry me into the rest of my life on this planet. THAT is the freedom which comes from trusting and letting go of the weight of regrets.
Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.
– Steve Maraboli