There are more times than I can count that I have walked away from a relationship, or situation and felt a sense of regret. I would tell myself that I knew better and then came the hamster wheel of thoughts including the should have, would have, and could have. Regret is a very difficult feeling to have to sit with and one that can plague us for years to come.
I can think of many times that I regretted a certain behavior of mine, or how I handled a certain situation. I know that the saying goes to “live life without regrets,” and for the most part, I do, however, I also replay certain events over and over because they didn’t pan out how I had hoped. I don’t regret anything 100% in life because I believe that everything happens for a reason, but if I was able to go back in time I would have done certain parts and situations of my life differently.
The most recent situations that I regret are how I handled the end of a relationship and how I handled a conflict at my old job. As hard as it is, there is no use dwelling on the past because what is done is done and there is no way possible to change any of it. What can we change? We can change the way we respond to a similar situation in the future, we can learn from what we didn’t like about something in our lives and we can grow from it and try to implement it in our daily lives today and moving forward.
Regret is a teacher in our lives. When you feel a sense of regret, that means that something didn’t align with your beliefs and values. Most of the time, we know how to better handle a person or situation, but for some reason, it didn’t work out that way. We are only human, life is not going to always happen exactly the way we want it to.
I can tell you that both of the situations that I mentioned above could have been handled much better if the communication was different. We all know the value of communication and how things can very quickly fall apart without it. I have learned my lesson and hopefully, those two instances don’t ever repeat themselves in my life, but if they do, I will be much better equipped to handle them.
Think of a situation that you regret. Think of how it made you feel then and how it does now. What did you learn about yourself in this situation? What did you learn about life? Some of our darkest moments in life, although painful, can be our biggest teachers. Whenever I find myself dwelling on something from my past, I try to quickly stop that pattern of thinking and I counteract it with thoughts of what I learned and how I am a stronger and better person today because of what I went through. Life is one big test and there are teachers all around us, keep going and working towards the person that you strive to be and you will end up passing with flying colors.