There are some of us who are able to go through this life with very few if any regrets, while others seem to drown in them regularly. So many of us too, keep playing the “what if?” or “only if” game. But what are regrets? Why do we have them? What is their role? And why do some people move through them quickly, while others hold onto them for life? In this essay I would like to address a few of these questions, as for the most part this is a topic that all of us can relate to at one point or another in our lives.
If regrets play a big role in your life, hopefully I can shed some light on this topic for you, and help you free yourself, while seeing and appreciating the bigger picture that is present here.
What Are Regrets?
To begin with, I will share with you a few ways of looking at and understanding what regrets are. In general, to regret is to not be at peace with how something transpired. We may have regrets regarding something that has happened, or about something that is going to happen.
Regrets can be minor, such as “I regret I did not go grocery shopping yesterday.”
And regrets can be major, like “I regret ever marrying her.”
Regrets can be things we did, or things we did not do.
On a personal level, a regret is an emotion, we choose to feel towards a certain experience.
Ultimately, regrets are an indication of a time when we did not choose with our soul, but with our ego. We did not choose from our higher selves. We chose out of fear, expectation, obligation or complete unconsciousness about our actions.
That is why often, regrets can be seen as the results of unconscious actions.
What is the Role of Regrets?
The first thing to understand if we are going to free ourselves from regrets, is that regrets may be unpleasant, but they are not bad.
Every regret serves as a lesson and offers a period of growth or evolution. That is why some people very early on in their adult years, learn from their regrets very quickly and may continue to go through life without relatively any more of them. While others, choose not to see the lessons in the moments of regrets and continue going through life with one regret, after another. So the big factor here is really how quickly we are willing to learn from our regrets and evolve past certain actions.
We can spare ourselves the unpleasant emotions, if we act and speak consciously, in which way we do not come to regret anything. Is this a full proof method? Probably not, as there are numerous possibilities to this I am sure. But in general, conscious actions are ones where we think, speak and act from our soul. That immediately raises us to a higher state of being, and there are many things that we immediately would not do in such a state. For example, I truly believe it is impossible to kill, betray, cheat or abuse someone from a state of complete consciousness. These types of actions are not rooted in love, and thus foreign to our soul’s purpose. Our soul knows that it does not evolve from actions of lower and negative vibration.
So yes, do not ever doubt that regrets serve a role and a purpose – and a very important one at that. Every time we do not act from our higher state of being in fact, unpleasant emotions follow in one way or another. This gives us a chance to choose otherwise next time, and grow and evolve. If however we continue to ignore these feelings, we continue the unconscious pattern, where the feeling of regret will no doubt continue to accompany our life.
What is the Best Way To Avoid Regrets?
The way I see it, there three things that any of us can ever do to avoid regrets, or better yet deal with regrets, as I hope you will see by the end of this article, if not already, that they do not necessarily have to be avoided.
- Be conscious
This is the first and most important step. You will have a much smaller chance if any, of coming to regret any decision in your life, if you make it consciously. The reason for this is that when we consciously make a decision, right in that moment we take accountability for it. This means that no matter what the outcome may be, our happiness is independent of it and in our own hands and we are fully accountable for what we are doing and why.
When we become accountable for our actions, we are much more aware of them. We are thus much more likely to choose wisely and do that which serves us best – the “soul us”, not the “ego us”. We are also in those moments much more connected to our higher selves and able to tap into our intuition more. We are able to be more in tune with our feelings and emotions, which are the language of our souls. This way we can be better guided by what really feels right for us, and act out of a place of love.
- Release the Regrets
If you did happen to make your choice unconsciously and came to regret a decision, dwelling on it and carrying it with you through life is not going to be of value. Therefore, the second helpful action that one can do to avoid regrets is learn to become one with them, learn from them, and ultimately release them.
Be honest with yourself and do not be afraid to say it out loud to yourself “I made a decision or acted out in a way that does not serve or represent me.” This way we are allowing ourselves to feel and be one with this action of regret.
Secondly, acknowledge the lesson. Ask yourself, why you chose to do what you did and reflect on what it brought you, and how it can be avoided in the future, assuming it of course does not serve you.
And finally and most importantly, release the regret. While owning it and learning from it are important, the greatest act of healing that you can give yourself, is to release the regret. Once you have acknowledged it and learned from it, there is nothing more you can do with it after all. And holding onto a regret is ultimately holding onto negative energies that will in one way or another manifest more negative energy.
Part of releasing the regret may involve forgiving yourself. This is a huge process that some of us have a lot of trouble with. But do not be afraid to love yourself, and do not hold back on forgiving yourself, for you cannot forgive others, if you cannot forgive yourself first. Whatever happened, happened and by this point, hopefully you have moved successfully through the other stages, where you yourself will see the only thing to do now, is release the regret from your mind.
Another part, is trusting and having faith that what was done, served a greater purpose, which although you may not fully understand now, you will upon your passing from this world.
- See the Gift
Finally, moving through a regret, learning from it and perhaps avoiding future ones, cannot be complete without seeing the gift in the situation. Yes, I mean actually changing from “regret” to “gratitude”.
We all want to intend and hope that all of our actions will be conscious, so that we do not have to “suffer” in any way. But at this point in our discussion we cannot forget that in life there are no mistakes – there is only divine perfection.
So whatever happened was meant to happen, for reasons that may not become clear to us, until we transform past this physical life. One day, I believe we will have a chance to review all that happened in our physical life, and see the big picture and purpose behind it all. At that point, I know none of us will see anything as a mistake or regret, for we will see the divine purpose that has weaved it all together perfectly for the evolution that served us best.
We don’t have to wait for that however. We can have that here and now, by choosing to see the gift in every thought, word and action. Nothing is wasted, and everything leads us to a higher place of being. But we do have to consciously choose that of course. Remember, we all have our free will at all times, so nothing will ever be forced upon us. All is from our own choosing, and just as we can choose things that do not serve us, we can also choose things that do serve us and see the love and beauty in all situations.
Conscious decisions for any thought, word or deed, are indeed the ones that serve us the most. It is possible to live a life without any regrets.
Ultimately though, there is nothing to regret. This is perhaps the most important lesson to take away from all of this because even if an action was done unconsciously, it always carries an important message or moment of growth for us.
Some of our greatest growth comes when we really “deal” with something that we have come to regret. Whether it was a relationship, a business transaction or a wrong maneuver on the road – all of these things were instrumental in shaping us as the beings we are today.
Not one of those moments was wasted. Not one of those moments was wrong. The gift is simply to be able to get to a place, where we can see and appreciate that.