More often than I’d like to admit, I catch myself thinking of the things I regret (or might regret), when making decisions.
We live our lives trying to avoid making mistakes, especially the costly ones. The underlying fear of making mistakes leads to avoidance or reactive decisions, which means we end up making more mistakes—and feeding the same fear.
This fearful and myopic outlook blurs our vision and stops us from seeing, with clarity, the things that we will truly regret. Most of the things we think we might regret end up being unimportant in the larger scheme of things.
Today let’s consider a different view. Instead of focusing on regret, why not start with the things that we will not regret?
Here is my top five. As you read, I invite you to examine each point and feel it in your heart. Is it something you will not regret?
The items on this list are universal. The details and meaning of each one, however, are quite personal. So here it goes in no particular order.
“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” ~Lily Tomlin
The quote above sums up what forgiveness is all about—letting go of a painful memory and wishing things were different.
Forgiveness is freedom exemplified. We release ourselves from the chains of the past and choose to live a different life from this moment on. We’re no longer bound and identified by the hurt or the person.
Forgiveness means letting go of the need for vengeance and trusting that life takes care of things at its own pace and on its own terms.
Can we forgive the wrong person? If I think that I forgave the wrong person, it means I didn’t forgive. I’m still holding on to something.
Forgiveness is the unconditional release of the grudge we held of a painful event from the past. It’s not a judgment on the event itself and the person who wronged us. It has nothing to do with who the other person is or why they did what they did—how they deal with it is up to them.
The ability to forgive others will help us forgive ourselves and let go of any guilt or shame.
And when we let go of our attachment to the pain and resentment, we open up to all of life.
Taking care of yourself first
We’re often taught to be selfless and take care of others. It’s clearer now than ever that if we try to help others before helping ourselves, we will do them a disservice.