How to Deal with Regrets
Regrets are one of the worst things in this world. I like to call them glues to the past. Regrets will keep you up at night and play a scenario on auto loop – like a toxic playlist on your iphone. It’s like a hardcore Nirvana fan being forced to sleep with a Lady Gaga album blasting in his eardrums.
Regrets can be so bad that they can actually cause physical discomfort. The nature of regrets is that there is an innate need for us to change what we have done or what has happened to us. The sad part is, no matter how deep or strong the desire to change that particular thing or event, it cannot be done.
This is why we get stuck in the past. This is why regrets glue us to a time that has come to pass. This is why a lot of people never move on. They are too busy trying to recreate the past in their minds only to wake up to an unyielding reality.
I used to work with this girl who broke up with a guy whom she was so deeply in love with. Ten years have passed – ten freaking years – and she still regret that decision. The worst part is that she won’t admit that she regrets her decision. She has not been able to meet anybody and still obsess about her ex. I got goose bumps when she stubbornly told me this:
“I want my ex to see me and see that I’m better off without him. But every time I see him, I just see how better he is without me. I will only be able to move on when he realize his mistakes.”
That’s when I realize that she will never be able to move on. Her regret has consumed her and the only way she copes is through a perpetual lie.
Have you ever made a mistake so bad that you just don’t know how to move on?
I want to share three ways to deal and manage regrets – in a healthy way. Unless a person properly deals with regret, he or she will never be able to move forward – the past will hold you down.
Tip #1: Make Amends
We cannot change the past but it doesn’t mean that it will now take over our lives. The reason why a lot of people want to change the past is because they cannot face the present consequences of their actions. They are caught up with what could’ve been instead of what could be done.
The most important person you need to make amends to is you. Ask yourself for forgiveness for making that mistake. And then grant yourself that forgiveness. That is the first step. Forgive yourself for the ignorance, forgive yourself for the lack of foresight, and forgive yourself for being human.
Then, make amends to the people who were involved. This is what most people call closure. If you have hurt someone, ask for forgiveness and thank them for everything. If you have been hurt, forgive the person who hurt you and thank him or her for the lesson.
Tip #2: Keep the Lesson
Find comfort in knowing that your mistake was so grave that you will never make it again. Find comfort in knowing that you survived that tragedy and that you are now smarter.
Mistakes happen for a reason – usually for the lack of better reasoning. But now you know better. Now, you are better than before.
Look at the regret and figure out why it happened. Maybe your emotions got better of you, maybe you made a rushed decision, or maybe, you were still a kid. Keep the lesson and share it with someone else. Make sure that you remind yourself once in a while of the new knowledge that you acquired. Keep the lesson but forget the pain.
Tip #3: Create Better Memories
I have often said that life is nothing but a collection of memories. I also said that I am determined to have a life rich with memories. We can never have a collection of memory that is only full of good things. There will always be bad things. But life is good when the good things out qualify the bad ones.
I was almost about to say the good ones out number the bad ones, but we all know that when it comes to life, quality will always surpass quantity.
If you’re life is riddled with regrets, then start creating memories that are filled with positivity, love, and affirmation. You can start small. Sooner or later, you will realize that you have focused so much on creating better memories that the regrets were long buried in the past.
We will always make mistakes. The best we can hope for is not to repeat the same ones over and over again. But when we do make a mistake, just remember to make amends, keep the lesson, and create better memories.
Leave your comments below about how you overcame your regrets.