Do you find yourself saying: “I wish I’d done… or I wish I’d been… or I wish I hadn’t…” How does that make you feel? We’ve all made mistakes and there’s no reason to beat ourselves up or spend our life feeling guilty about our past.
My mother died when I was twenty-five, and she was fifty-seven. This triggered within me the goal to live a Gutsy life and never postpone my dreams. None of us know how much time we have left, so why not enjoy today, and every single day.
I remember writing about this topic before, and one person’s comment made a lot of sense:
There is no point in regretting anything, because you always do what you think is best at the time. Who would deliberately make a bad decision? Nobody. So, no regrets! Keeps you sane as well.
Perhaps teenagers are more prone to making bad choices even if they realize it at the time. Most of us have made mistakes, some bigger than others, but instead of looking at them with regret or failure, we need think of our past choices as opportunities that resulted in our growth and change.
Drifting back to the past, where we may punish ourselves with our mistakes and regrets, is a waste of time. The what if”s are useful for those who wish to write fiction, but not to be used against ourselves. Instead, we need to look at living in the moment; a universal bond that links all humans whether rich or poor, but so many of us forget to appreciate. I force myself to enjoy the minutes I have right now. It doesn’t happen automatically; I have to stop and think about what I’m doing at this moment.
When a friend wrote: “I was pretty much told, if you have no regrets you are in denial and a liar,” my first thought was: Who would make such a statement?
What do you think?
Julie Musil says
Wow, you're so right. And I love the comment that person made. Yes, I have regrets, but I try to learn from my mistakes and move forward. I'm still a work in progress, but I enjoy where I am. Right now.
Good to hear you're moving in the right direction.
Well, on one level you can regret things – a harsh word, a foolish action. Stupid things I did in my youth.
On the other hand, they are not deep regrets as all those actions made me the person I am today…
Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane says
I don't have many regrets because I try to make the best decision at the time, and then try to make that decision good as much as I can. If that makes sense.
I think that making NO decision about something is what we often regret. Making no decision is also a decision.
What a great reminder. I was just thinking yesterday of some of the stupid things I've said or done, and where I'd be right now if I had done things differently. Then, I remembered that God has me right where I'm supposed to be. You are so right about learning from past mistakes and moving on.
Thank you for this post. It's very meaningful for me!
Tricky question. I've tried to live my life with the intent of never looking back and saying, 'I wish I'd done…" so I've taken some risks. That said, of course I have some regrets.
I think you're right about continuing to try and live in the moment. That is always my goal, but sometimes I forget.
Thanks for the post!
Antares Cryptos says
I agree. Just lessons on what not to do next time 🙂
If one single thing had been different in my life, I may not have had three beautiful children and two grandchildren. So no regrets for me!
We all make mistakes so it's best to just move on. Love Di ♥
Doctor Eclectic says
I think sometimes the line between regrets (wish I hadn't done that…) and reflection (analyzing the consequences of action and deciding if the action had good or bad consequences…) gets blurred. You are spot on when you say we should not have regrets, but our pride sometimes gets in the way of serious reflection.
Just like noexcuses above I was thinking last night about some "what ifs" had I done some things differently. The bottom line for me is that I am happy with my life so I can't regret the decisions that brought me to today.
Regret is a strong word that I think is misused. A regret is a deep sadness,remorse,etc. If I didnt show up at my dying fathers bedside, yes, I would regret that. If I partied too much in college and studied the wrong thing, thats a bad choice.If you have some sense of morality I think you will do the best you can and not have regrets…
Phivos Nicolaides says
Our life is full of regrets, hopes, positive and negative thinking. The important thing is to combine good THINKING and better EMOTIONS because human beings are so selfish…
having no regrets means that you accept (with responsibility) what has happened in your life, with a vow to always learn from it….it's healthy, sane, and allows you to live in the "now"….not the past
I would've been a kinder, more patient custodial stepparent if I had a do-over chance. But they all grew up into admirable women, and we have a loving relationship now.
On a lighter note, I never have buyer's remorse when it comes to clothes. I make it work because I never want the hassle of returning anything. So once I make a decision to buy, I stand by it.
Good point. Those are the things that mold us.
I agree with not making a decision and perhaps regretting it. Although I personally try to.
Glad it came at the right time. That happens to me too.
Glad we can remind each other.
I do consider having stuck all those lit cigarettes in my mouth a deliberately made bad decision. I definitely regret each and every one of them.
No major regrets either.
And being happy with your life is what counts.
You explained it very well.
I wasn't sure what you meant by human beings being so selfish.
You explain the concept very well.
Thanks for your visit and the comment on step-parenting and buying.
Laura Howard says
My mom passed this November, and I have to say that other than silly little things, I feel no regrets. I loved her with everything I had, and knew she felt the same. My sister, on the other hand, though she loved our mother equally, has many regrets because their relationship wasn't as strong. I sometimes live my life with the idea that if I don't I will regret it later on. That's something that spurs me on.
I think you're more likely to regret things you don't do, rather than things you do actually do, so I've always accepted that new challenge! Life's for living.
Sheesh, I make so many blunders I'm waaay past lamenting them! Life is for living, so long as we try to do it without inflicting harm on those around us, I guess we have to accept we are not always going to get it right ALL of the time.
Madame DeFarge says
I have several regrets, almost all of which are things that I would probably do again. Which is something that I regret more than their doing.
A great topic! I love your approach to regret. I recently had a similar feeling about decisions. I've decided that there are no wrong decisions. That is so freeing!
I don't think it's wrong to have regrets. I think we need to have the guts to see and take responsibility for our mistakes and the harm we causes others. I do have regrets about causing harm. The problem, in my opinion, is getting stuck in regret. That I try to avoid!