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04-28-21 How to Live With Regrets

Have you ever laid awake, thinking about all the dumb things you’ve done your entire life? Regretting things that you did or said – or did not do or say, when you should have spoken up.

Regret, like any negative emotion, is painful, scary, and feels like it can take us down permanently. But it is essential to feel your negative emotions fully, because it is only through the pain that we can heal and grow.

While this is a somewhat somber show that raises more questions than it answers, that is exactly the point. Grief, pain, and regret are not linear or simple. Feelings do not “happen” on cue or according to any particular timeline.

Top Take-a-ways:

  • Feeling regret, shame, grief, or any negative emotion reminds us of our imperfection, of our fragile, vulnerable nature, and is scary. It’s OK to be scared and to feel helpless. Humans, we are fragile and helpless… But we’re all in it together!
  • While regret, shame, or guilt teaches us what we might do better next time, beware of falling into the “I’ll do better next time” trap. Because you probably will! After all, how often have you gained and lost the same 5 pounds?
  • Living with regret enables us to roll with the punches more easily. Life is a series of ups and downs. All emotions are transitory. Feeling our pain fully helps us to manage difficult emotions in the future.
  • Being overwhelmed by grief or emotion helps us realize what we can control, which empowers us to take responsibility, take action, and be fully present for ourselves and those we love.
  • Ultimately, it’s regret, shame, grief, or any pain that makes us more fully humans. It’s “oneness” in action, and even though we don’t have answers or solutions, we can always sit in the discomfort, express ourselves, and offer ourselves, and those we love, grace.

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