I think we all live with regret. Every day. Some of us are hard-wired to suffer from it more than others, I believe, but we all have it. From the easy things in life (like that extra cup of coffee or piece of cheesecake) to the harder things in life (like choices we’ve made about more important things).
We make decisions all day long, from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep. We make a decision about getting out of bed at all! Most of our decisions are easily made, either because they’re not that important or because we make them out of habit with really not much thought at all.
It’s those decisions that come back and bite us that I want to talk about. I like to think that we all make important decisions consciously, with the best outcome in our mind. Unfortunately, even the best thought-out decisions don’t always have good consequences. It’s in those instances that we tend to beat ourselves up the most. We think to ourselves that “had I done this differently” or “if only I had done that instead” until we become immersed in the mindset that it is our own fault that things worked out the way they did. Someone told me once that it’s arrogant to think like this. What makes us think that OUR decisions and actions are the sole reason that things turn out the way they do? When I thought about it like that, I actually felt much better about the situation that I was dealing with. I’m hoping it may help you out as well.
Another mantra that I found helpful is to repeat the following:
The past is over and I did the best I could at the time.
This is SO powerful! I think we all carry guilt along with regret when we believe that we could have or should have done something differently. This statement, repeated over time, allows us to forgive ourselves and move on in peace, with no regrets.