Most of us experience life with some regret. I certainly did my share of regretting.
Regret in its simplest form is wishing we would’ve done things differently because we don’t like the way life has turned out. Our childhood dreams have ended and we live with the nightmares of regret.
We wonder what happened or why this is happening to me?
We want to make changes but we’re so stuck in regret that we have lost the ability to make positive changes. Regret has frozen us in time.
Recently I was talking with a mother in deep despair because of her regrets and the behaviors of her children. The conversation led to the question, “Where did I go wrong?” (Moms ask this question a lot.)
Sometimes it’s not a matter of where we went wrong but rather the choices our children have made that cause us deep grief. However, there are times we’ve actually made wrong decisions and behaved in ways that have destroyed relationships with the ones we love the most. We underestimated the consequences of our behaviors and we live with the nagging feeling of regret.
Owning our behaviors is the first step toward making changes.
When we begin to reflect and ask ourselves the hard questions we can see where we’ve let down our guards and where poor choices were made.
Instead of asking, “where did I go wrong?”
Start asking, “what can I do right?”
Regret keeps asking the same question day after day, week after week, month after month, and over time we feel defeated.
“Where did I go wrong” keeps you stuck in your past.
“What can I do right” helps you to move forward.
I stayed in regret because I COULD NOT MOVE FORWARD! As I’m writing, memories flood my mind and tears fill my eyes because I lived with regret for far too long!
A life of regret is filled with…
I think I could’ve.
I wish I would’ve.
I know I should’ve.
It becomes self-loathing and takes away any hope of a better tomorrow. We make excuses about our behaviors and lament about our lives. We believe someone else is the reason for our misery. Eventually, regret can lead to depression.
The good news is that we can all make changes but not until we understand that our response to anything that happens to us is our responsibility.
Most of the positive changes we make begin because of discomfort, followed by awareness. Eventually, we find the courage to act on what we know to do.
I wanted to change the way I felt and so I began the long journey of change. I began making changes in my life by taking responsibility for ALL my actions.
Expressing my regret in a safe environment was my first step toward moving forward.
We truly have the power to make the changes we long for. You can begin to live with no regret.
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