Do you carry them around with you? The weight of regret can be enormous. It can drown you. I can make you stay in bed all day, the covers pulled over your head, going round and round and round with “I could’ve”s and “I should’ve”s.
I’ve been there.
While we are cleaning out all the clutter in our house, I’ve been trying to work on my mental clutter as well. It’s part of why I haven’t slept well in months, and I’m determined to change all that.
I’m letting go of regret. I’m letting go of guilt. I’m letting go of the vision of how I wanted life to go, because honestly? There’s not a darn thing I can do about it. And beating myself up over things that are behind me is nonsense.
At least, that’s the lesson I’m trying to learn.
In my experience, regrets are an insidious sickness. They can colour every part of your life and make you second-guess everything you do, or have ever done.
If a child gets an answer wrong on a test, we teach them the right answer and tell them they’ll do better next time. We don’t expect them to go over that test in their head for years and mourn the fact that they filled in the blank wrong. So why do we do that to ourselves over life choices that didn’t work out?
And yet, there is a kind of jealousy born hatred that simmers in society over people who live without regret. “Can you believe her? She acts like nothing happened. She has no heart. She just doesn’t care.” It’s easy to say that we shouldn’t listen to society, but that’s much harder in practice than principle.
Where does the middle ground lie? Do we open our hearts to show people our wounded souls, yet maintain the maxim of letting go? Do we have to prove things to anyone but ourselves? Should we?
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that letting go heals my heart. I know that regret is useless and does nothing but paint the future with the sorrows of the past. I know that I’d like a fresh canvas now, thanks.
What about you?