“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.” ~ Jonathan Larson
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t done or said something that they wish they hadn’t. But are you still punishing yourself for something you should have let go? If you’re holding onto to guilt, you’re holding onto the past. But the past can’t be undone. And feeling guilty is not going to make it better. If fact your guilt can infect every relationship through mistrust, judgement and unrealistic expectations.
“If you can’t forgive yourself, you can’t forgive others.” ~The Hurt Healer
During my dark drinking days I had many regrets. When I look back there are so many things I wish I hadn’t done or said. But through recovery and faith I was able to find forgiveness. And for those who believe that ‘faith’ equates with ‘cop out’, allow me to show that it is far from it.
Anyone who is familiar with the 12 step programme knows that the steps are rigorous and challenging. For me it included:
“Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.”
“Admitting to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs.”
“Making a list of all persons I had harmed, and being willing to make amends to them all.”
“Making direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
“Continuing to take personal inventory and when I was wrong promptly admitting it.”
So although today I can freely say I have no regrets, it doesn’t mean that I’m not accountable. Rather it means that I am willing to acknowledge my wrong-doing and have a willingness to put it right. And then I can let it go.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
Regrets will hold you in the past, at the expense of your future. So learn to deal with your mistakes, hold your head high and determine to do better.
And don’t let the fear of doing something you might regret stop you giving it a go.Because living a life of passion and purpose requires risk. Sometimes things will go wrong. You may even unintentionally hurt someone. But you have to weigh up the benefits of trying something with the detriment of doing nothing.
There are no guarantees that life is going to go the way you want it to go. We can encounter either the possibility or the certainty of regret. But as for me I’d rather stumble and fall than not try at all.
What about you? No regrets?