“We should have no regrets. We should never look back. The past is finished. There is nothing to be gained by going over it.” – Rebecca Beard
Although the past is over, I still tend to reminisce about it–talking about last night’s exciting footbal game, fretting about that thing I said a couple days ago that I wish I had not said, thinking about the “good ‘ol days” when I had plenty of friends and life seemed so easy. But if I were to gauge the importance of different things in my life based on how much I think about them, how much I stress about them, how much time and effort I spend wishing they were different, then my past would be near the top. As Rebecca tells us here, there is nothing to be gained by looking back at our pasts, except perhaps learning lessons that we need to learn from our mistakes.
If my mind is in the past, I miss out on the right here now, and there are lots of choices I need to make in my life right now–where I am going to be, who I am going to help, what I am going to say or do. The here and now is the most important part of my life, for only right now can I affect my life in positive ways, and even affect my future by choosing to do something positive in the now. But if I squander the moments I have now by focusing on past regrets, I will have lost many opportunities, moment by moment, of improving myself and improving my life.
And as Rebecca points out here, it is important that we recognize and acknowledge mistakes that we have made. But once we have done so, it is time to move on and continue with our lives.
Let the past remain in the past… we each have a life to live now. Perhaps you did not tell someone what you felt before they passed away, but you can tell others today what you feel about them. Sure, you made a mistake, but now is the time to make amends for it and focus on not making similar mistakes in the future. Do not sabotage your present with regrets–for right now is the only time we have to act.
Take the initiative to live in the moment.
Questions to consider:
How do so many people come to have deep regrets that they are unable or unwilling to let go of?
What good does it do us to continue to allow our minds to focus on the past?
How might we teach ourselves to recognize when we are dwelling on regrets, and how to pull ourselves out of them?
For further thought:
“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in.” – Katherine Mansfield