I am only a few words into typing this and you got a lump in your throat from reading the first one. Regret is a feeling that can engulf your entire being in seconds. It has the power to change who you are, how you think, and every single little step you make from this second to the end of your life.
So what is regret?
You know that feeling you get when your throat closes, and so does your mind? When you close your eyes, reflect on the past decisions you’ve made, and can only feel nothing but a temptation to do it all over again, this time differently? That is regret. You regret things you’ve said or done in hopes that you can go back and change the event. The truth? …You cannot. You cannot travel two, three, four, Maybe even twenty years back to change something that has already been done. No matter how much you wish you could, your past is etched in stone, and there is no altering it.
I know that this sounds very negative, but I promise there is a point!
Just because you cannot change your past, does not mean that you cannot change the consequences of your past. Let’s say that ten years ago you punched a girl in the face for flirting with your boyfriend at the time. The consequence of you punching her is that She has not spoken to you since. You cannot change the fact that you punched her in the face, all you can do is wish you hadn’t. OR… you can tell her that you understand what you did was wrong, and that you hope to have a better relationship in the future.
This girl you punched in the face? Yep. She just became your best friend.
Why? Because instead of wallowing in your own pity and wishing you hadn’t punched her, you came to terms with your regret of punching her, confronted her, and let her know that you regretted the whole situation. One friend gained, and one less thing to regret.
Sometimes things happen in life that are completely out of our control, but somehow we feel that we caused it or at least had something to do with it. As humans, we are always blaming ourselves for the actions of others, whether they initially effect us or not. Some of us regret squandering our time in school because if we didn’t, we could have attended a better college. Some regret telling our siblings things such as “you’re ugly” in the fights we’d get into in our younger years because we feel that it somehow led to them being self-conscious.
I can truly say that regret is probably one of the worst feelings to have, yet we all experience it. Well, Stop! Stop regretting choices you’ve made in the past. Stop regretting having children early, or getting rid of the dog. Stop regretting your decision to not turn in a homework assignment correctly because you’d rather spend time on social media.
You have one life to live… and your time is measured. The less you look back on, the more you have to look forward to. Of course things in your past effect your future, but that is the way life is. There isn’t a handbook that tells us what to do and what not to do. The closest thing to that “handbook ” is our parents… & not even they can tell you what you will and will not regret. The choices you make in life are your choices. So whether they are bad or good, they were still made.
Instead of thinking about something that you cannot change, think about the life ahead of you and how much more time you are running on. Make mistakes, and love that you do. If you have never made a mistake in your entire life, well… you’re probably still sitting in the womb. Mistakes are inevitable. You’ll make them over and over again & It’s going to hurt. But it is going to hurt because it matters. Regretting something you did is way better than regretting something you wish you had done.
Take chances, make mistakes. Fall in and out of love, and become passionate about the smallest or biggest things. Once you realize how much of life you’ve spent regretting what you should have done, you will spend more time doing what you can do.
Stop regretting. After all, it isn’t time for that. Your time to live is now. Your time to regret is never.