Dear Regret: You Are My Teacher

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.

A Little Reminder

Be in the present. We get so excited thinking and planning for the future, or we get so sad that we reminisce and dwell on the past, that most of us forget the most important thing and the key to happiness, which is to live every day to its fullest and take each day of life as it comes.

Yes, we should think of past memories and yes we should plan and be happy about the future, but most importantly, take in what is around you now because life changes all the time and at any time!

In Tune

Isn’t it funny how a certain song has the power to bring back so many memories? It’s as if it temporarily transports us back in time. Certain songs remind us of certain events, or times in our lives and they can evoke so many emotions.

I love the feeling of being in my car and having a song play from many years ago. It’s like having a little blast from the past. It’s pretty amazing how many years, or even decades later, a simple song can trigger so many thoughts and emotions in our brain.

Years and years ago, it was common for people to burn CDs of their favorite music. I spent hours and used countless CDs to burn my favorite songs throughout the years. I keep them all in a CD case in my car and still to this day, I spend more time listening to my CDs than the radio, or any other way of listening to music. I love the connection to old songs and the happiness that comes from listening to them. I have songs that remind me of my high school graduation many years ago, songs that remind me of college, relationships, friendships, dates that I went on, jobs that I’ve had, vacations that I have taken, the list is endless. It seems like every song ties me to a certain time in my life.

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As I sit here and write this, I can’t help but to think of the importance of memories and the importance of music. It is so valuable to keep memories alive and to remember the good times. Not only is it a happiness booster, but it reminds us of where we have been and who we have become. Music is equally important for boosting our mood and finding connection to the lyrics is an extra bonus. A good tune and beat is just good for the soul. Our brains are tied to things that evoke great emotion like events, music, art, certain scents, etc. These all stay etched in our brains. Recall how a certain scent can remind you of someone, or even a holiday scent that brings you back to memories of celebrations with your loved ones.

It is very important for us to do things that bring us joy and happiness. The memories from the past still are very much a part of who we are. To me, it’s so fun going back and “reliving” these moments simply by listening to a song. Try putting on some of your favorite songs from way back when, particularly songs that you listened to during some of the most fun and happy times of your life and see what a good mood booster it can be!

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