Not understanding the mind and how it plays out regret could affect one of the most important measures of your life. In order to champion the mind of regret there are three roads you need to learn about Regrets. 1. Understanding the negativity of regret, 2. displacing the negative to a positive, and 3. avoiding the ultimate and possibly unavoidable regret.
1. Understanding the Negativity of Regret ~ the muddy road you get stuck on.
Do you live your life with looking back at mistakes you’ve made and wishing you had done things differently? Lamenting in regrets you take your Rod Stewart Greatest Hits CD and play Reason To Believe (on repeat), remembering that first love you walked away from in the Summer of ’71. As the song plays, the worn out script said to yourself a thousand times by now rambles on, like an old vinyl record in a locked groove….. “She was perfect, never found another ‘gal like that again. I didn’t want to get tied down? What was I thinking…. she was gorgeous and made me so happy!”
If I gave you time to change my mind
I’d find a way just to leave the past behind
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe
Talkin’ to myself and feeling old.
Sometimes I’d like to quit;
Nothing ever seems to fit;
Hangin’ around, nothing to do but frown;
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
The real problem is that you do this over and over as you often use music to fuel the fire of regret and like the Linda Ronstadt song title, lament in a “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”. You regret not leaving that job, not going on that Rocky Mountain Back Pack Trip again that you so loved so much and so on they occupy your mind.
2. The Regret Turnaround road from a negative to a positive.
Regret is an emotion that we all feel and I think it is very real. When regret shows itself, we need to acknowledge the emotion, and possibly even thank the emotion for making itself present. We need to acknowledge all hurtful emotions not just regret, because suppressing emotions are far worse. But then I think we need to let it go. It may not be easy, but it is our choice.
I have read many people write that “we are all perfect exactly the way we are and we are at exactly the spot we’re meant to be”. I choose to believe this, even though I’m going through some physical difficulties myself. Whether you actually believe this or not, it does present an interesting starting point for moving forward. It is very easy to harbor regret or any other negative emotion, and it is often very difficult to let those emotions go. But I believe the sheer “practice” of letting them go, choosing love vs fear, is where our growth comes from. I know that there is a tendency to beat ourselves up for our past mistakes. While this is true, and I’m sure many people do it, that act of beating ourselves up is also our choice. At any moment we can choose to say “thanks for the lesson” or something similar, and move on.
The key word here is PRACTICE. We know that we shouldn’t harbor regret, and be hard on ourselves, always choosing love vs fear, etc, but we can’t change the many captive scripts in our mind (what the Buddhist philosophy calls the “Monkey Mind” and to rewrite and displace those old scripts won’t happen overnight. However each and every time we succeed, it gives us further momentum to succeed again next time. Practice is the seed of perseverance and when one of those scripts sneaks back in and you fall off your horse, you simply get back in the saddle and continue in your direction.
3. The dead end road~ the ultimate regret that when not prevented, may be unavoidable?
I was speaking to a very good friend about regret and she sent me a story about someone who worked with patients in palliative care, spending time with them just before they passed. She comments that every patient had found peace before they departed and when questioned about their regrets the most common response was:
“If only I’d had the courage to live true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
When people realized that their life was almost over and looked back clearly on it, it becomes easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. You play the should’ve, could’ve if only I would’ve game. Indeed it’s a sad last chapter to a life, having had not honored their real dreams which was where their true passion would have been ignited. The closing and last regret having to die knowing that missing out was due to choices they had made.
Playing this out like Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, what would you choose to do differently today?
“Don’t go with your song still inside you.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
It all starts with a first step, you can’t reach your destination or any destination for that matter if you don’t take that first step and that’s your most important choice.
Ken Jaques describes himself as a Pathfinder, Health Care Evolutionary, Guide, Community Builder, and Speaker. He loves encouraging people to shine a light on their fear and live all their dreams.
Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008, Ken has experienced many facets of the health care system. As “the only person who ever lost their hair on this low of a dosage of chemotherapy” – as spoken by his rheumatologist – Ken has been on an amazing journal of self-discovery, a journey of true healing. In his blog, Ken shares stories of how his beliefs have changed over the past few years, and how they are still changing. Is it possible that our bodies can heal themselves? Do we really have to live without hope after we receive a chronic illness diagnosis? These are the types of questions that Ken encourages people to ask themselves as they embark on their own physical or emotional healing journey.
Ken is passionate about his Message of Hope and Healing and is auditioning for a movie to be filmed in 2013. Check out a video of his message at http://areyouamessenger.com/?aid=121. If the message resonates with you, please help spread the word. Provide comments, vote for Ken, and let others know about his message. We can make 2013 an awesome year of emotional and physical healing.