I’m a regretter*. I regret things. I’m not the kind of person who can move on from a mistake and be happy to have learned something from it. Instead, I’ll spend hours, or days, or months, or even years pondering my more unfortunate past decisions, wishing with all my might that I could go back in time and make different choices.
Guess what? It’s never worked. Not once has my wallowing caused me to wake up in the past with the opportunity to undo all the things I wish I could undo. I still only have today. Today I can try to make the best possible choices with the information I have at hand. Yesterday no longer exists. It is but a memory, to be cherished or forgiven.
The problem with regret is it that doesn’t change what happened in the past, yet it can rob us so completely of any joy in the present. Regret doesn’t acknowledge that perhaps our more lamentable experiences were in fact catalysts for positive change and growth. Regret is a waste of time and energy, both of which are precious resources in this short and beautiful life.
Regret is a choice. Let’s choose to lay it down.
*Not a real word.
Photo courtesy of LEOL30.