Regrets, I’ve had a few…

 

Regrets.

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?

4 Comments for “Regrets, I’ve had a few…”

Patt O'Connor

says:

Beautifully stated and so true. So many times I’ve said,” If only I had done it this way”, and let’s face it I didn’t! So forget about it. There are so many wonderful things in my life that I am thankful for, and who knows what would have happened if I had done it another way.

says:

That’s true. I’ve thought sometimes about other paths I might have taken, pretty far back in fact! But what if that meant I didn’t meet this friend or that friend, or had experiences that shaped who I am, or going way back, maybe meant I didn’t meet Richard? Like if I’d stayed in Chicago or what not. So, yeah. Even the really hard things were just learning experiences, and I’m learning too, to let them go!

says:

It’s easier said than done. There are still times I’ll be thinking of something, and get this sick twinge in my stomach because it reminds me of a time when I did X and wished I’d done Y and it didn’t turn out well at all. But you know what they say about hindsight. I try to continue living my life by making the best decisions I can at the time and knowing that I’m making the right decision for me when I’m making it.

I think that’s all any of us can do.

What did you think?