Regrets are an unfortunate result of living and sometimes, the misfortune of not living up to an expectation and backing away from a challenge.
Dating and relationship regrets hit hard because the emotional attachment tends to linger and bleed into the future. Often in ways which are blind to us until or unless, they can objectified and sorted out.
These disappointments or missed opportunities can all too easily determine our future and an unfortunate one that is riddled with failure. We can become almost destined to make the same mistakes over out of fear or reprisal from a past decision.
Once one experiences massive regret and its refusal to give up its hold can make feel as if it's impossible to escape.
How is regret eliminated from our emotional bank?
Can it be forgotten? Will it always linger in the dark places of our mind waiting for that next misstep?
Can it simply be ignored? Will selective listening to ourselves stop it from revealing its ugly past outcome once again?
Or is it simply just a matter of just moving on and getting over it?
Admitting we can never change the past. The now is all we have and the future is uncertain and highly unpredictable.
What is your greatest regret? What has affected you the most?
I hear lots of people swear by their code, "I have no regrets!"
But do they really?
By the definition alone their lying to us and themselves:
Regret - "Feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity."
Those lucky few apparently have never felt sad, repentant or disappointed related to something they have done, lost, missed an opportunity over, or decided which has directly caused an emotional strain or pain to themselves or another.
The highest peak or result of regret is often death.
I'm fighting and dying of lung cancer.
Do I regret that first cigarette or the many years spent puffing away disregarding (hoping) I get missed; casually spared the suffering agony that comes along with it?
Will it change anything to even consider for one moment when there's so little time left to something so "trivial" as a "regret", not having it or admitting it, when clearly the future in a strange twist of fate is now predictable and practically set.
When presented with such a force upon us the energy wasted thinking back and wishing to go back could be used for a better purpose and not to change a decision or lifestyle. There are more productive ways to utilize the the strength needed to fight the battle.
But let's not downplay the smaller less noticeably regrets which pile up in our lives.
Their destruction, although slower to develop, do cause emotional strain which can bleed our soul and life-loving happiness out of us, leaving us either an empty shell or in a searing angry bitter existence.
Their consequences are very real.
Owning up to them or not, ignoring them, pretending they didn't happen, tossing them aside, laughing them off as a joke, or declaring they don't matter does not change what they've done to us or worse, someone else.
They're even more real when they've negatively affected another loved one or caused undue harm to anyone caught in the path created from taking that first daunting regretful step.
Easier to cast aside or not, smaller regrets become problems of entanglement and often form a limited belief system. This sometimes hidden system dictating some of the most important decision we can face.
On the lighter side of regrets we have laughter.
It's hard to relate humor to regret because it's not always a decision but a misstep.
Such as going to shake a first date's hand and accidentally grabbing a piece of their body to stop you from falling which obviously can make a very embarrassing moment. Not the type of first impression you wanted to make.
The regret is not the accident, they happen; however you may have argued with yourself on your choice of shoes knowing comfort lost that even to looking sexy when you knew they were dangerous to walk on.
Yet the humor is still there somewhere if you're willing to accept it as such.
The more outlandish the better the story to tell later. The more gut-wrenching laughter can come from it when we've gathered our and got over it.
We all have plenty of regretful decisions which led to a funny outcome and when we're willing to share them with some lighthearted humility, it's good for us and those listening too.
Our heads held high, more confident, more aware, and definitely more attractive.
Getting past our regrets and learning from them the best we can.
It's no secret that mistakes are our best teachers if we're willing (and capable) of rationalizing them out from an objective perspective.
Gaining a positive learning experience from a regret can stay with us forever and by doing so stop us from making the ultimate mistake of repeating the past again and again.
Our mindset is a powerful force granted to us and when used to better our experience in life won't eliminate the regret but turn it into something else.
Sure, it's not easy to look back and find the good parts from the bad, especially when you're bringing back awful experiences, but it is possible and highly recommended because the rewards often outweigh the temporary emotional pain.
Pretending to move on is not the answer.
Ignoring the issue won't help either.
Disregarding what happened as chance is just as bad.
Blaming it on "something or someone" else will never lead to a reasonable actionable solution.
Acting or declaring that you don't have any regrets does little to nothing to get past them either.
The simple solution.
Regrets feel like mistakes and therefore can be treated like them. They can show us all by themselves how to get past them and better ourselves.
Learn from them. Grow from them.
Let them rid themselves of the hold they have on us.
Allow them to show us when and where things went wrong.
In the end, I think you'll feel better for going there.
My Greatest Regret - Not Being There.
I'll admit to not owning up to all my regrets. There has been a few but who keeps count?
I also don't look back all that often and decide. I've made plenty of bad choices and thankfully, they only hurt myself and not others.
Here's one I'd like to own up to...
I will ALWAYS regret anytime or place or event when I wasn't there for someone who needed something from, and I didn't follow through and help.
Some of which was trivial or an ass being lazy asking for assistance to what I would reply, "Get it your freaking self!"
But there has been a few times where I can tell by my bowed head and sunken heart asking myself,
"Why didn't I just DO something or anything more?"
It's not all bad. I'm not unhelpful. I'm not a prick. Seriously, I'm not a terrible person.
Yet - I can name a few VERY IMPORTANT people in my life that not only was I not there for them as best I could've been, but also refused to get involved in their life at a time they could've use my knowledge, expertise, or kinship to better their day.
I guess it's just who I was, believed people make their own problems.
They make their choices and must suffer the consequence as I did and have done for myself. How it's better to learn that for themselves rather than me stepping in to console or offer my time up.
I thankfully now see the world differently and act accordingly.
Those regret remains.
I won't waste time "trying" to make it up to them. That seems pointless and kind of rude if you think about it.
I've learned from those mistakes and try my hardest to NEVER let it happen again.
Why wasn't I there turns out to be complicated and long, but exploring the issues, eliminating the limited beliefs I hid behind to explain it all away in the past, and objectifying the circumstances helped a lot.
Give it a try for yourself.
Again, In the end, I think you'll feel much better and secure for going there.
Thank you for everything,
Some Unregretful Posts to Read:
Man contemplating his regrets taken by Norbert Kundrak.