If you asked me a few months ago if I regret anything in my life the answer would have been a very quick no. Up until now, I’ve not really believed in having any regrets. I believe all of our choices good and bad lead us to be exactly where we need to be until we have enough information or awareness to make a different choice and accept accountability for our role and emotions. (Besides, it’s never easy to admit and own the fact we’ve made a mistake about a person, a situation or expression. I mean, who wants to be “wrong” in this perfection driven society?)
What I’ve learn is that the capacity to feel the emotion of regret is true gift, one that can bring you closer to the elusive state of “balance”. I discovered two things about regret that surprised me. The first is regret goes to the core of your values being in conflict – either at your own doing or by someone else’s actions. The second is being honest about linking the regret to your values leads to freedom. Freedom in understanding why you make the choices you do, act, say or behave certain ways in a certain situations.
The pitfall of regret is when we stay stuck in that space. We go to the place where we replay our story over and over again and the opposite feelings come out like gilt, anger, shame or maybe fear. I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure those emotions won’t lead to personal freedom or put you closer to living your values.
To welcome 2013 – feel any regrets you have, understand, release them and move on. You might be surprised to discover the liberation in being “wrong”.