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.

Truly Love Yourself

I’ve always heard that you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. To be honest, I never really believed that until recently. I always thought that I have plenty of love to give, why couldn’t I possibly love someone completely without 100% loving myself first? I have started to realize why.

We are our own worst critics, possibly because we know ourselves as no one else does, also we know all of our faults and our past. I’m sure that many of you have been given a compliment from someone and you appreciated it so much, yet you didn’t believe it to be true. Maybe you were told that you are a good communicator, that you are attractive, smart, and funny. It was great to hear a sincere compliment from someone, but you didn’t feel it inside and that took some of the joy away from those wonderful words. We are putting distance between ourselves and those that we love when we don’t truly love and have confidence in ourselves.

The act of loving oneself is not saying that you love yourself and your qualities 100% of the time. We all have things that we do not like about ourselves, however, the art of loving yourself comes down to forgiving yourself, being at peace with your past, having confidence in who you are and what you stand for, and truly being able to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are proud and happy of who you have become.

When we love ourselves wholly, it opens up a brand new world for us to find, we are then able to sincerely love someone else as we can finally share pieces of ourselves that we may have hidden before accepting ourselves.
For those of you that love yourself unconditionally, I am very proud of you for reaching this level of confidence and peace. For those of you that have yet to reach this, I have faith that you will get there and I understand because I have been in your place, sometimes I still find myself there, but I can bring myself back.

The biggest step that I feel has been the most helpful in my life is negating every destructive thought with something positive, or at the very least, neutral. For example, if you are working on a challenging project at work and you are ready to give up, instead of telling yourself “I can’t do this, I am always a failure,” negate that thought to tell yourself that you acknowledge that the project is difficult, but you are trying your best and giving it your all. If you feel that you are not good at relationships you might feel that it’s all your fault and that no one loves you. Instead of this approach, negate that thought to tell yourself that you will work hard on communicating your feelings and that sometimes people are not always compatible.

Start working on all aspects of yourself until you are happy and can confidently say that you love yourself. Once you have mastered loving yourself, the whole world opens up to you and it is then that you will truly be ready to love someone else with your entire heart and soul. Get out a journal, or a piece of paper and write down all of the things that you love about yourself and the things that you are grateful for, you will find out what a mood booster this is!

Keeping Your Cup Full

Self-care is a word that we hear about often, yet something that many of us don’t remember to do as much as we should. We are so busy with life and we spend so much time taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves.

Life keeps us busy and we all have relationships and responsibilities that we must attend to and put energy towards. We may sometimes feel superhuman as we navigate daily challenges and tasks off of our to-do list. Often in the midst of things we forget that energy is not finite, it will run low if not preserved and boosted.

There are many ways and things that you can do to help with self-care, it all depends on what your likes and interests are. Self-care may be as simple as taking yourself out to dinner, getting a new haircut, getting a manicure/pedicure, gardening, cooking a good meal, playing sports, even choosing to stay in one evening to watch shows is self-care.

The importance of taking care of oneself is immense. Our minds and bodies are only capable of so much before we hit a slump, or even a breakdown, it’s very important to listen to your mind and body and to know when to slow down and take time for yourself. When you practice good self-care, you are physically and mentally at your best and you keep your cup full. It is only when you yourself are “full” that you are able to do your best in life and also give your best in life. We can’t possibly take care of others, or the demands of life without taking care of ourselves first! This is a reminder to do something that you love, something that makes you happy, something that helps you relax today!

A Message

Life will take you down many different paths. Things will be thrown at you that make you question yourself and the world and people around you, but make a promise to yourself that you will always strive every day to make life exactly the way you want it to be. Go through the motions of life and know that you are exactly where you need to be at this time.

Look in the Mirror

When I was younger I focused a lot of my energy outward. I was always helping others and being there for them, it made me happy and still does to this day. What I wasn’t realizing was that I spent all of my energy helping others, that I had no energy left to take care of myself.

I was told many times in my younger years that I needed to focus more inward because my energy was always being focused out and away from me. I understood what was meant by this, but I didn’t feel that I needed to at that time. My happiness depended on other people and I failed to look within to find happiness. It took many years and many burnouts to finally understand the importance of what I was being told. I finally understood the importance of self-reflection and working to better myself and become the best version of me that I could.

I still very much love to take care of other people to this day, but my sole happiness does not depend on it anymore. I used to have to constantly be expending energy on others in order to feel happy and I have learned that in order to help others, I need to focus inward and help myself first! Take time to take care of the person that you see looking back at you in the mirror, so that you can put the best you out there in the world!