Notes From The Furlough: Day 70

Regret engenders malaise.

Please discuss. How does this play out in life?

I’ll start us out. The many changes, upsets and realizations of 2020 have made us introspective. We look to the past to try to understand how we ended up where we are now, and try to draw lines of cause an effect to make sense of events and outcomes. We evaluate our decisions and actions/inactions, and in doing so place a value judgment on them. It’s easy to be focused on the things, in hindsight, that we’d do differently. After all, the things we did well don’t seem to need much attention; we’ll just keep on doing them. (We actually will benefit from giving ourselves recognition and gratitude for our successes, but that’s a topic for another blog post.) But the choices and actions we messed up—our partial or total failures—well, they seem to merit review and re-review. It’s easy to get caught up in a loop of regret.

Today’s message reminds me that I can’t fix the past; I can only make what I decide to be appropriate choices in this and any moment. Staying focused on mistakes and what went wrong keeps me stuck in inaction and prevents me from taking good and healthy actions right now. Over analyzing the past negatively—which is what regret essentially is—leads to soul sickness and prevents me from being positive and happy in the present. If I rue a past action or decision, I need to make whatever reparation or release I deem fitting and then let it go. This will free me to move forward, retaining only the lesson learned and the opportunities at hand. Today’s mantra: No regrets!

How about you? How do you handle past mistakes or misjudgments?