Regret is an unchecked mistake that we never learn from
In the Bible Judas carried so much regret after betraying Jesus that he quickly hastened his own death (by his own hand).
Within that same timeline, Peter denied Jesus, not once, not twice, but three times!
“I don’t know the man.”
Yes, that was Peter.
Consequently, he lived with regret, and what could-have been. So much sorrow, so much pain. Peter was beside himself. He could-not function.
There’s regret rearing its ugly head. Regret is like a racist Sheriffs department, [targeting a black man]… it only wants to imprison you. Regret will keep you focused on your mistake—instead of learning from it. There’s no release date for this one my friend. You’re in bondage for life.
Unless… you learn to use hindsight.
But, I’ll get to that in a second.
A feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done. In a relationship, this can mean something that you’ve done (or said) to someone else. Or, something that done (or said) to you. Either way, regret is counterproductive to the progress of a relationship (or an individual).
Have you ever argued in a, fit of rage?” You were so angry you said something you later regretted? The common response to that question is an emphatic, yes!
“I wish I never hooked up with you.”
“Marrying you was a mistake.”
“The dumbest thing I ever did was having a baby with you.”
“I should have never had sex with you.”
“I should have listen to (insert friend or family member).”
All too often we make statements such as these out of anger. Consequently, when we say things we don’t mean, we have to live with the fact that we probably hurt the other person out of spite. Unfortunately, a lot of us will simply carry the weight of regret without around—without even realizing the negative effect it is having on us.
In his article about, “regret-proofing,” your relationship, Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. says there are 5 ways to set your relationship up for success.
- Pay attention to your intuition
- Conduct due diligence
- Make sure your values align
- Look carefully at your partners family (and friends)
- Express yourself
While I do agree with these points, don’t mistake insecurity, or fear for intuition. This is a common mistake that a lot of us make. We believe we are following our, “gut,” when we are scared, or carrying baggage from a past relationship.
In the movie, The Neverending Story,” Atreyu, had to brave many obstacles before he could defeat, “the Nothing.” One of these obstacles was the, “magic mirror.” This mirror forced Atreyu to face his true self. Hindsight is like gazing into a mirror that shows us each blemish or mistake we’ve made. That is, if we choose to look (and learn).
Hindsight (not Red Bull) gives you wings. Instead of being held hostage by your past, you can now learn from it. You can take flight instead of being grounded by regret.
With Hindsight, you humble yourself—for yourself. It’s an opportunity for you to look at the mistakes you’ve made, and correct them going forward. As a result, when the same, similar, (or even new) situation arises, you now have the [foresight] to make an educated decision.
You’ve Been Given A Choice
- Regret or
On one hand, you have pain and sorrow, mixed with self-pity. On other hand, you have humility, self-awareness, evolution, foresight, and a new perspective on life that you never had before.
- Stunts your growth—emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- Is life-changing.
Always remember, you cannot change the past. However, you can change how you react, and handle different situations going forward.
By choosing hindsight, you choose to live free.
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