Regret - repost from Ally Hamilton at Yogis Anonymous (http://blog.yogisanonymous.com/2014/07/20/regret/)
Sometimes we spend too much time looking in the rear-view mirror. It’s always good to examine our choices and behavior, especially when we’ve landed ourselves in situations we never intended and didn’t want. But once you’ve looked at what happened, once you’ve plunged the depths of what was motivating you and what went wrong, it isn’t productive to swim in those waters. As a matter of fact, it can really start to wear you down.
Most of us can look back on our lives and point to choices or decisions we’ve made, wishing we could go back and do things differently. But screwing things up is how we learn. Maybe you didn’t show up for yourself the way you wanted to; maybe you weren’t able to act on your own behalf in a timely fashion. It’s possible you participated in a situation that was very damaging to your tender and precious heart. If that’s the case, of course you want to get really clear on why you were feeling so badly about yourself that you allowed someone else to mistreat you, or felt unable to remove yourself from a toxic situation. The information you really need, though, has much less to do with the other party or the events around you, than it does with your own emotional and psychological drives.
So many people get caught up in the particulars. Maybe you wish the story went a different way, and you find yourself time traveling, going backward in your mind and rewriting conversations. Maybe you’re stuck on wanting to be right, or wanting someone else to embrace your version of events. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. It matters what you think about you. And if you blew it, whether that means you let yourself or someone else down, I’d look at that, but I wouldn’t marinate yourself in regret and despair. That isn’t productive, and it keeps you stuck in a cycle of shame and self-loathing. You’re better off swimming with sharks.
The best we can hope for is to learn and grow. We start with the tools we develop as kids. We enter young adulthood armed with information, some of it good, some of it really, really off-base. We do the best we can with what we know, and most of us make plenty of mistakes. We get hurt. We unintentionally hurt other people. We try to figure out how to be happy, and for most people it’s a messy process because we’re sent on so many quests that lead nowhere. Starve yourself and you’ll be happy. Accrue money and buy things and you’ll be happy. Meet the right person and you’ll be happy. But none of that works, and in the meantime we’re walking in circles in the dark, banging into things and stubbing our toes or breaking our hearts.
The main thing is to learn as you grow. To make better mistakes every time until you find your way. To do your very best not to hurt other people. To release the stuff that’s weighing you down so you can fly. We only have so much time. I wouldn’t spend too much of it kicking yourself.
Sending you love, Ally Hamilton