Friday, October 24, 2008

No Regrets

I have often heard people speak of their biggest regret or talk of things they’d do differently if they could go back.

For a long time, I felt this way too.  I would have not said that to her, or I would have put up a bigger fight with him or I would have made a different decision on that.

Then I started to feel consumed by regret.  I was being swallowed by my past.

The thing with regrets is that they are pointless.

You CAN’T change the things you have done, so let it go.  We’ve all done things we are not proud of.  Being sorry for the mistakes and possible hurt you caused is sufficient. 

Holding onto it, feeling regret for something a decade or more later does no one any good.

What I have learned is that every action in our past makes us who we are.  If you had the opportunity to go back and change something in your past, you would alter who you are now and who is in your life.  Not to mention the person you will become.

Mistakes and adversity are not bad.  Your choices and experience might have made your life or others’ lives more difficult, but they are part of life.  They teach us lessons and develop us as human beings.

This goes for all people. 

Someone might have supported a bad organization 40 years ago and believed it was good then, but realized with age, time and life lessons that it was a horrible decision.  They are sorry, but it is in the past.

Someone might have supported a policy that they thought would improve several people’s lives and protect certain freedoms, only to later realize they were wrong.  They learned and moved on.

Someone might have thought that telling a loved one they were fat and making them feel badly about themselves would help them get motivated to lose weight and be healthy.  They later realized it not only did the opposite, but hurt that person deeply and caused a rift in their relationship.

Someone might think being negative or hitting their child was an effective parenting technique, but learned later, when the damage was already done, that they were wrong. 

Someone might feel horrible about the things they did in the past and the pain they caused.

You cannot change what you have done in the past, you can only learn from it and do better.

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