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Thursday, 18 Apr 2013

How to let go and move on from regrets

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Regrets - A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.

We all regret some of the choices that we have made and things we did that did not turn out the way we wanted them to. The other regret is of the opportunities that we missed out on, because we were too afraid to take the step, but the important to realize is that holding on to these regrets can immobilize us.

There is little that I’d want to change and any advice I could offer myself in hindsight would potentially have robbed me of some of my more foolish and enriching experiences. The years of struggles, experiences and adventure all contributed to my personality and character and make me who I am today.

Why let go and move on? If not checked, we can let regret,

What would we change if we had it to do all over again? Regret can be pretty useful in the short term when we learn immediate lessons and commit not to repeat them.

But in the long term, regret has an insidious edge to it. When we start second-guessing our past, it’s a short step to second-guessing our present, and ultimately ourselves. If the things that brought us to where we are today were mistakes, then that would imply that where we are today and who we are today — is a mistake. I would rather not hold that perspective. It is far more empowering to believe that where we are today is perfect and where we need to be for our highest good and the highest good of all concerned.

Regret, the deep, long-term kind of regret, keeps us focused not on who and what we are but on what we did and what we should have done or not done.

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In order to move forward we have to be willing to let go of the past.

By letting go, I mean we have to forgive ourselves fully and if there are other people involved, perhaps seek their forgiveness if it is possible. Forgiveness is possible when we understand that even if rewound, we would have chosen the same thing again, because based on our resources at that time, it was our only choice.

Know in your heart, that at the time, we chose the best possible option available to us. Trust that we are essentially good and loving beings and would never have deliberately or unnecessarily chosen a path that caused pain or suffering to anyone, our selves included.

We have been programmed to always choose comfort over pain. Being comfortable is a level of being alive. This stems from our basic survival instinct. We will choose the painless option always. Sometimes though it would be the least uncomfortable option.

Imagine you are in a room, out of a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie. The walls are closing in, literally. Imagine you can see the countdown, and you have 60 seconds.

59…58…57…42…41…39…
You are alone in the room, the ceiling is very high and on the ground, you see three covered manholes.
Disgusted, you put the lid back on.
You open the next manhole, and you see great white sharks and crocodiles swimming in here. Petrified, you close this manhole too.
You open the third one and in here are venomous snakes and scorpions. Now you know you are in an Indiana Jones movie.
Time is running out as in most difficult situations, we have to choose. Inaction is not an option as the walls are closing in…you can almost feel them touch you.
We do choose the best option available to us at any given time. We have to trust that we do. Have faith in ourselves that even the worse situations were the best options at a particular time and the fact that we are alive and still swimming is what matters.
Don't rehash the event over and over by continually telling others what happened. You could actually become "addicted" to the sympathy!

Time is running out.

You lift the lid off the first one and it is a sewer. The stench is so strong it infuses the entire room. Just like the one little Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire jumped into to get to Amitabh Bachchan when he was locked in the outdoor toilet. Yes, it stinks, but it is shallow.

22…21…19….

16…15…12…

9…8…7…6…

5…4…3…

So, what do you do? Basic survival instinct will choose life. So you take a deep breath, pinch your nose tight and jump into the first hole – the sewer.

So, now you are alive, and wading in smelly waters.

Not nice at all, but you are alive.

As time goes by, you swim and wade through the sewer and you are initially grateful to be alive, then you forget the other alternatives that you had to choose from and you become very present to your current predicament, which is that you are swimming in a sewer. People around look and point, look at him swimming in that sewer….but no one knew his available options. They too would have probably chosen the same.

Regret is, in a sense, what’s left when you subtract what you knew then from what you know now.

How to move on?

When you find yourself thinking of the regret, turn your thoughts to the things you have learned and the opportunities that are now yours - even if they are not what you would have preferred. There is always a lesson even in pain and sadness. Look for the lesson and focus on it instead of what might have been.

Grieve for your regrets. When we feel regret, we relive guilt, sadness or anger. Allowing yourself to experience these feelings fully with the intention of moving forward can help you stop revisiting them.

In hindsight, we do always choose the best possible option, so regret in most instances is an absolute waste of energy. Acknowledge yourself for your greatness and your instincts and know that you always do your best even when the outcomes don’t appear that way.

 


 


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Comments

0 Vanessa 2011-03-07 00:00 #1
Thank you for the insight Malti, its so great to have you by my side in my journey of life.
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