Regrets: The Bane Of Our 'Now'
Regrets. That very word may already have our insides churning. We’ve all done things we came to regret at one point in our lives or the other. Even thinking about it now sends chills up our spine, and makes us shudder in disbelief, cringe with self-disgust/loathing or make us bow our heads in shame. This is involuntary and most times a subconscious act. And during this time, one thing runs through our mind. “Oh if I could just turn back the hands of time.”
In my not-so-many years of life, I’ve come to regret a lot of things. And each time any of those things come to mind, there’s this unavoidable twinge of sadness I feel or sometimes I cringe and shake my head. Like “Tess, did you honestly have to do that???!”
Our regrets come from a lot of things. There are these non-life-altering ones like something silly you did. Or something you thought people would react to but ended up being aired. Things that make you cringe but they don’t have any lasting impact on you and you scarcely ever remember them.
Then there are the life-altering ones like missing an opportunity that could have changed your life out of sheer carelessness, spending years trying to build your life with a particular person, only to be discarded in the end. Things like that make us feel like we are scarred forever. We feel jaded and become cynical towards certain people's things.
However, there are ways to free ourselves from the merciless grips of regret, knowing that as far as you keep harbouring them, constantly in your mind, you may never be able to move forward.
One of the things you could do to alleviate yourself from the shackles of regret is to do a bit of reflection. Maybe, not a bit but, you get the idea. Trying to understand what you learnt from it and evaluating the things you could have done differently may be uncomfortable but it is necessary if you want to move on from it.
Also, exercising forgiveness is another way of liberating yourself. And this forgiveness starts with yourself. There are many times I’ve had to forgive myself for all the self-resentment. Resenting yourself for the things you did or failed to do is what happens when you’re in deep regret and blame yourself for it. So forgiving yourself and anyone remotely related to that feeling of regret would go a long way.
You should also try to surround yourself with people that love you and people who care. If you make yourself available to a place or surround yourself with people who would constantly remind you of your regrets, you may not have that chance to move on. Stay with people that make you feel happy and don't make you feel like a failure because of the things you regret. It may be hard to do, but you'll be glad you did it.
And lastly, appreciating the present. In essence, having a ‘forward ever, backward never mentality.’ Regrets go a long way in preventing us from enjoying the now. We’re so hung up in the things that could have been that we can’t enjoy the things that are. But focusing on the present and making a conscious effort to do the things we love and bring us joy is invaluable.
Everyone has regrets. Some deeper than others. But having the mindset that it is and will always be a part of life would free us from that emotional burden. I’ve experienced this severally so I know the ease that comes with letting go of this mindset. Remain happy and remember to stay positive.❤️
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