When I meet someone who tells me that they have no regrets as they look over their life experience I know instantly two things about that person.
- They know how to make good decisions
- They take ownership and responsibility for their choices in life.
What about those of us that have regrets? What does “no regrets” really mean? Is there anyone who never made a bad choice or took the wrong path? Probably not! Everyone alive has chosen a course of action that did not work out, I certainly have! Shouldn’t we regret these potholes in the path of life? After all they caused pain, cost us money or broke our heart! (sometimes all 3!)
I would say no, we should never regret anything that we have done or was done to us but that does not mean that we approve of every word, action or choice. We learn as much or more from the failures or the unpleasant events than we do from the one’s that worked out well, that served us and aided our soul’s evolution.
To regret is to spend way too much time in the past. The past is dead, over! You cannot change it. I have known too many people who have spent their lives in regret and they end up like the High School quarterback who never made it in college or the pros. They go to the local pub each Saturday and Sunday and retell over and over the touchdown they threw that clinched the State Championship.
Yes, his buddies are happy to listen as long as he’s buying but really they have pity in their eyes for the great friend they knew who never learned to move on.
Our High School Hero lives in the past and that is just burned over territory that cannot be changed. However, he could choose to revise his experience of his past; he can make the hurts and failures learning experiences instead of life shattering events. He can build a new dream, build a new life and begin to live again in this time, in this world where his new attitudes, his new thinking and his new dreams can build a better and more fulfilling life.
Nothing that can happen to us is ever so bad that we must sacrifice our present and future on the altar of regret. You can get over anything.
A good case in point is the good friend who was sexually molested as a child but instead of allowing it to scar his life and blight his future he told me that he got up off of the dirt, punched the perpetrator in the mouth and moved on with life; never, never revisiting it again.
What we would see as a life altering event, he saw as 7 or 8 rather unpleasant minutes that he would never allow to reoccur. He is not in denial, he just did not give a damn! Maybe, just maybe, when the really bad times come we should learn to “not give a damn”!
As my dear mother Hildegarde used to tell me, it only hurts if you care that it hurts. The secret just may be to care very much for the things you love, the things you enjoy, the times in your life that you treasure but learn to just not care about the things that hurt, shame, humiliate or debilitate.
Why give power with your thought and attention to something that you despise or dislike? Think and speak only of things of good report!
My friend is happily married, has had a very successful life and practices the principles that I present in this blog. I asked him how he was able to do this? He replied that he saw no point in running that video in his mind again; feeling those feelings again and living a movie that he did not enjoy and never wanted to see again. He told me that he made a choice in the minute after the incident. He told himself that this was just a few minutes of unpleasantness and that was the end of it.
Your life is too important to let anyone or anything destroy your heart, your soul and your spirit. You are here for a purpose that only you can fulfill; that purpose is not to mourn and weep and live in the the land of regret.
Until we are together again…….. walk is love, peace and joy each day of your life.
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida Catch all of my 121 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore