Don’t Live With Regrets
Do you look at your life and live with regret and remorse. Does a guilty conscience rob you of your joy every day? Well, now is the time to turn your life around and start to enjoy every day, free of guilt and regrets. Regret is like a parasite that eats away at your soul. It will rob you of your momentary happiness and a fulfilled future.
Our everyday lives come loaded with challenges both big and small. The minor challenges like what to have for dinner are a natural part of our mental processes every day. But, major decisions like buying a house can present a multitude of challenges that require deliberation and persistence. When we make wrong decisions which is inevitable for all of us, we then hang onto regret and remorse, often needlessly.
I allowed a momentary decision to push me into despair and regret for far too long. When Danielle, my daughter and her two small children left for their holiday to visit family and friends, she came to our shop to say goodbye before she left. I recall that Danielle and I had a minor altercation the night before that caused us to be ill-at-ease with one another. I don’t recall what it was, but it was enough for us to feel agitated and withdraw. Just before her departure for her holiday she failed to come upstairs to my office to say goodbye and I didn’t go downstairs to do the same. I looked out the window to see her little yellow car driving off down the street with her two babies in tow. Little did I know that I would never see my daughter again for less than two months later, she was horrifically murdered.
That split second decision had huge consequences for me and caused me much pain and regret for some time to come. You too, may have made some unwise decisions that left lasting consequences, regret and anxiety for your life. But, know this, you may have made a mistake but you are not a mistake or failure. We forget the frailty of our humanism. We are imperfect beings in an imperfect body made up of flesh and blood and ultimately we will all make mistakes, some bigger than others.
Trying something new and failing does not disqualify you of a good future. Having a go at something new takes courage and determination. Look on the bright side and realize the value of what you have learnt along the way. Thomas Edison made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light-bulb. When a reporter asked him how it felt to fail 1000 times Edison said “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light-bulb was an invention that took 1000 steps.” Don’t you love the perspective of the man? He is a role model we should all emulate when we make mistakes or fail.
Your future is not dependent on your past failures. In fact your future is not dependent on your past, period. Think about it. It doesn’t make sense! Don’t allow one or two negative experiences in your life determine your identity. Your “who” is not determined by your “do”.
Do you think you are meant to be perfect? If the answer is no then why do you expect perfection in your actions? The truth is none of us are perfect and none of us can live a perfect life, free of mistakes. Our sin nature disqualifies us from perfection, so let go of high self-expectations and start to enjoy the journey. I saw a quote from Jennifer Aniston that said “There are no regrets only lessons learned.”
Out of your mistakes comes empathy for others to walk along side them when they trip up just as you did. Their disappointments and mistakes are opportunities for you to support, empathise and equip others, pointing them in the direction of success or restoration. My losses of four members of my immediate family in three different situations have made me soft-hearted toward others who have loved and lost. You too can allow your past regrets or mistakes to be the catalyst for change in you to help others. Don’t give in or give up. Turn it around just like Edison did. Walk free of the past and have no regrets. Let go and live!
Thanks for reading