Do You Live With Regret
“Regret is such a short word…and yet it stretches on forever.” ~ Ranata Suzuki
Having to live with regret is one of the worst feelings you could ever experience. It can be relentless. You can be happily cruising along in life, and out of nowhere it will softly whisper: “Remember me?” “Remember what happened?” “Remember what you did wrong?” “You should’ve apologized. Now they’re gone.” “You should’ve made that phone call.” “You should’ve said no.” “You should’ve said yes.” “You should’ve tried harder.” “You should’ve tried.” “You missed your opportunity.” “Your life could be so different, but you messed up.”
Regret lies in wait like the childhood monster under your bed, haunting you during those moments of silence. Moments when all you want to do is sleep, but rampant thoughts of past decisions constantly interrupt your peace.
“Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” ~ Laurence J. Peter
At some point in our lives, we’re going to do or say something we wish we could take back. This is one of many reasons why practicing self-control is so important. When we lose control of our emotions, things can be said and done in the heat of the moment that could potentially haunt you forever. For this reason, we must refrain from participating in heated arguments. Heated arguments tend to morph into contests to see who can hurt each other the most. And when you know someone intimately, it’s easy to find a weakness to exploit. A weakness they trusted to share with you in confidence. Exploiting this weakness could potentially break the trust and cause irreparable damage. If they no longer feel safe being vulnerable with you, intimacy will diminish and, quite possibly, their love for you. You might win the battle, but you could lose the war. It’s imperative that we think before we act. It can take years to build trust, and a few seconds to destroy it. Even if you didn’t really mean what was said or done, there will always be lingering thoughts in their mind: “Is that how they REALLY feel about me?” “I thought they cared for me. Maybe I was wrong.”
We must choose our words carefully because we have to live with them. Mistakes are inevitable. It’s part of being human. But we can’t use this as an excuse to be speak and act recklessly. Empathy and respect are crucial components necessary for effective communication.
“I wish life had a rewind button.” ~ Unknown
You don’t have to live with regret. When transgressions occur, the key is to grow from these experiences to avoid making the same mistakes again. Don’t allow them to consume you and define your entire existence. Accept the fact you can’t change the past and place your focus on building a beautiful future. You can’t change the past. It’s over & done. But you do have the power to make better decisions going forward. If we continue to make the same mistake, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice. Choose wisely.
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