Do you ever wish for a “do-over”? For you golfers: how many mulligans have you requested? For actors: have you ever wanted one more dress rehearsal? For athletics: would one more extended practice have helped? Regrets surface without plans or preparation. When they arrive, regrets can never be erased. Ugg! So, let us talk about regrets.
Regrets are defined as “a feeling of sorrow or remorse; a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, refusal”. Regrets are a natural state of affairs. I want to believe that at least once in everyone’s life the desire to perfect or change our experience has happened. Whether it was to improve or expunge or just slightly edit our experience a tad. In my experience, it is just not feasible to think of perfection as obtainable or to think of people living their life without any sense of remorse.
Many dismiss their feelings of regrets by learning to not take notice of the pain whether the pain hurts, frightens or frustrates. Many have a pattern of avoiding pain by simply denying they were affected by it and then go about their business as if untouched. In my opinion, denial does not fix feelings or circumstances. Denial and avoidance exacerbates our frame of mind and agitates our insides. Emotions are invisible, but highly motivating. As the saying goes “actions speak louder than words”. Sadly, behaviors are constantly misinterpreted. We can be moved completely out-of-character by our moods and attitudes.
Regrets are teaching tools. Regret shows us the link to a sense of loss or a disappointment and to wishful thinking. Regret gives us the means to do things differently when the time comes. “I wish” can be placed in a mindful treasure chest of possibilities ready to be released. “I wish” can be the overstretched hand to help as a measure to pay forward what I didn’t do before. “I wish” can be more than a single extension to help, it can be a pathway, and relationship builder for betterment.
Regrets are a normal challenge to make sense of circumstances and how they turn out. Regrets allow for the thoughts of doing something different. Often these thoughts are hard to face and often harder to express. Regret pokes with an uneasiness and can forge a repeated distressing pattern of avoidance. It is important to acknowledge our regret and more importantly to engage differently when the opportunity arises. If you regret–face it. Tell the people affected. Be respectful. Use this opportunity to exchange your sorrow for good deeds. Many times no admittance is needed. Take action. Take the opportunity contained in regret, to become humbly candid and release yourself to do things differently.
“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” Lucille Ball