There are no regrets in life, just lessons. Jennifer Aniston
Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains, if we will only stop the waste and the idle, useless regretting. Arthur Brisbane
It can be healthy to have regrets? If we are unable to experience pain and sorrow, disappointment and loss, then something is wrong. We would need to address whatever is causing us to have this void in our life. In this sense, it is desirable to have and to experience regrets. Our regrets should be a form of feedback that helps learn from past experiences. What could be done differently and how can we make our lives better in the present?
We must be careful in our regrets. We should experience, reflect, learn, put aside, come back to the present and then go forward. Our life should always be in front and not behind us. Regrets can be like emotional quicksand. The past is where we have been, the present is where we should be, and the future is where we should be headed. The past should occupy very little of our time. It is the part of our life that has happened. It is behind us. Spending any more time there than is profitable for the present and the future is unhealthy. The danger is, when we visit the past, depending upon our emotional make up, we run the risk of getting “bogged down” in the past. We get caught up in feelings, pleasure, pain, misery, what ifs and our mistakes. We can get caught up in trying to relive, redo, and make things right that have already happened and are gone forever.
There is an element of regret that pertains to anticipating the future. If we can look in to the future, then come back to the present, we can predict possible regrets of our wrong choices, or our lack of actions. A good example of this is to realize that time is slipping away. Any time we do not spend with our family and friends will be something we will likely regret in the future. We should avoid these future regrets by taking right actions today.
When we regret, we should assimilate the feelings, experiences, the good and the bad; and then be able to live in the present in a new and improved manner. We should grow in wisdom and motivate ourselves to become a better version of ourselves. The past should be our teacher and as a source of experience and knowledge as we gain wisdom to help us in our journey through this life.
Challenge: Having regrets can be profound and debilitating. Do you suffer from any regrets? Are there any regrets that are imprisoning you? It is time to let them go. Learn from the experience, grow in knowledge, and use your new wisdom to go forward. Let go of past events and live in the present. Take a moment and list those regrets that are most powerful. After a period of reflection, take a match and burn them, and let them go.
Wisdom: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:7
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
There is no future in regretting the past. The present should be our focus. We should always be growing and developing into the best we can become. We are limited in doing this only in our strength. If we really want to become our absolute very best, we must solicit God’s help in doing so. He is ready and willing to help us overcome our regrets and mistakes and equip us with the faith and confidence that can only come from Him.
Prayer: Help me to learn from the past to become better in the present and in the future.