Notes From The Awareness: 244

Regret ties us to our mistakes.

Please discuss. How does this play out ln life?

I’ll start us out. We’ve all said or done things we’ve had occasion to regret—angry outbursts, unkind words, thoughtless or spiteful actions, poor decisions, risky behavior. In their aftermath we rue the choice, often wallowing in guilt or shame. We really, really wish we had done otherwise.

The situation can be compounded if we injured or offended someone. They may withdraw in hurt, berate, or shun us, emphasizing the effects of our mistake. The consequences of our ill-advised behavior drive home its folly and only serve to ratchet up our regret. Sometimes defensively, we may appear unconcerned about the results, but inwardly we are cringing. We may struggle to figure out how to move forward in a good way.

Today’s message reminds me of the unwisdom of getting lost in regret. Remorse undoes or fixes nothing. To overcome a mistake, I must first acknowledge complete responsibility for my actions. Trying to shift any portion of the blame to someone else will only increase the likelihood that I will repeat the same mistake.

If another has been hurt, I must offer and attempt to make the situation right as best I can. Performing a nonjudgmental inner review to understand what impelled by behavior is also key. I also will want to compassionately address any inner conflict that may have contributed to my mistake. Finally, I need to forgive myself and move on.

When I have accepted responsibility, atoned for my actions, healed any contributing inner wounds, and forgiven myself, there is nothing left for me to do but forge ahead, confident the mistake will not be repeated. The rearview mirror is only intended for brief use.

How about you? How do you handle regret?