We all have things that we probably regret in life. Whether big or small things, most of us wish we didn’t have anything to regret. However, regret can be useful in our journey to evolve and prosper in anything in life. It can show us where we need to change our ways or strategy. When we allow our choices to inform it is easy to look at what we lost, but we can also look at what could be gained and use this as forward motivation. Living with nagging regret in your everyday life, can become a drain on your soul and a burden on your shoulders that restricts what you do in the future and eats away at your self-esteem and your emotional well-being.
Even small regrets diminish your self-confidence and keep you constantly in the past and not in the present. If you are suffering from the aftermath of a bad decision or experience and have crippling regret, it can have severe mental and physical impacts – sleep issues, mood problems, migraines and skin conditions.
You can work through regret by taking some simple steps:
- Clearly look at your regret
Take a step back from the feelings and determine why you did what you did. How can you learn from your error? Is it really a mistake if you, and maybe even others, have the opportunity to grow and evolve from it? Did it really cause as much harm as you think it did? Is your dwelling on the regret causing more harm than the initial action? If you are regretting a path not chosen, imagine how your life might be if you had chosen that path. Now think of all the things and people in your current life you would have missed if you had taken the other path.
- Grief is necessary
Fully experiencing the feelings of regret will help you move forward. Tell the truth about your powerlessness to change the past and empower yourself in the present moment by making peace with regret. Write it down on a piece of paper and burn it; or bury it in the earth. Learn what you need and then forget it. Make a clear decision that it is time to move on.
- Accept the way it is
Recognise what you have learnt and let it be final. There is no going back now. Wallowing in regret is just wasting your life. You do not need to atone for your mistake by punishing yourself. You need to learn from it, grow and keep moving forward. Wallowing in self-pity is not going to help you evolve. Everything is forgivable in the eyes of Spirit, as long as you learn from it and grow. Your Soul is here on this life journey for precisely that reason. Remember you are not alone. In some way or another we have all made mistakes.
- Do something about it
If the circumstances warrant it, ask for forgiveness and make amends. Take responsibility for anything you could have handled better. Nobody is too big, nor should you be too proud to take responsibility for anything you could have handled better. If you can, reverse the regretted behaviour.
No matter what your age or the situation you can make right most situations. No matter how many years later, learn the lessons of your regrets, redirect your course (or not) and open the door to a fresh start.