Dec
21

How to Handle Your Regrets

By

We often label our past decisions, situations and experiences as either “good” or “bad” and those judgments are sometimes related to what we regret.

Imagine going through life and finding the balance between two opposing decisions rather than having regrets or judgments about them later on.  Whether they’re in the past or present, balance can be achieved by bringing your conscious awareness to the situations.

As you tap into your consciousness, you’re able to stand in the middle and see the totality of a situation.  Circumstances can then be seen with appreciation for everything — even events or actions at opposite ends of the spectrum.

When you see clearly that one choice, which perhaps seemed “bad,” but led to something you deemed “good,” you begin to appreciate how “good” and “bad” can become “it just is.”  And, this takes the sting out of it, helping relieve the regret over choosing one course of action over another.

As adults, we know that most things in life can have an upside and a downside.  When you buy a house, perhaps you want a place to start a family, a home you can remodel any way you like, or a refuge of privacy and quiet.  The downside includes major repairs, finding your tax bill in the mailbox, or watching your property values plummet.  When you take responsibility for these downsides before you buy the home, you accept them with equanimity when they appear.  Because your view of the situation is balanced, the result is that you have less regrets and
“it just is.”

What do you do though when you have past regrets or you’re not at peace with “it just is” or you haven’t adopted a balanced perspective for a current decision you’re facing?

Clear Out Old Regrets – It’s a good idea to first look back at the past with an expanded perspective and appreciation.

Take a piece of paper or your notebook. Write out at the top of the page, “What Do I Regret in My Life?” Now answer these questions as honestly as you can:

  • Who did I think I would “be” by now?
  • What did I think I could do?
  • What did I think my life would be like?
  • Where have I made mistakes?
  • How have I failed?

Then start a fresh sheet of paper and consider these questions:

  • What have I learned from this choice?
  • How has this experience served me?
  • Where has this decision enriched my life?
  • What gifts came out of this experience?
  • How do I love myself in this situation?

Choose Your Regrets with Awareness – If you’re wrestling with a current situation, then consciously choose your regrets. This is a by-product of the well-known process of weighing the pros and cons of a decision.

Imagine that you could propel yourself forward in time and look back at your choice. Which decision would you regret more?  How would you, for example, choose your regrets with the following circumstances?

  • Taking a job that gives you more time with your family but pays less
  • Deciding whether to have another child
  • Moving to be near grown children and grandchildren
  • Getting a divorce
  • Going back to school
  • Starting your own business

Now answer the following questions for any major decisions that you’re now facing:

  • What are the upsides to your choice?
  • How would your life change?
  • What would you be gaining?
  • What are the downsides?
  • What would you be giving up?
  • How would you make peace ahead of time with yourself?

As you choose your regrets with awareness, you’ll no longer torture yourself by believing you did something stupid or made an unredeemable error.  When it comes to the big decisions in your life, make a commitment to stand by all of your choices.

By looking at each of your decisions straight in the eye, accepting the joys and the challenges, you’ll find your own state of balance before you even embark on any new journey. Regrets will be few as you accept and appreciate what “is” along the way.

© Deborah A. Lindholm

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? ? You can, but you must include the following resource information in its entirety: Deborah Lindholm works with individuals ready to move beyond the fear, confusion or doubt that holds them back, by learning to work with their inner awareness and inner power and apply that deep inner wisdom in their life where it counts. If  you’re ready to awaken your inner power and surge forward in your life, get your FREE tips at www.serenitymatters.com

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Disclaimer

As always, please consult with qualified health professionals before putting session or workshop ideas into practice. The ideas and techniques are not meant to diagnose or replace the need for medical attention or professional mental health care.

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