I know may people say one should never live with regret. But I have never been one of those people. Even as a child, things I’ve done or have not done have haunted me for a really longtime. I find myself regretting many things I said or did, things I didn’t say and didn’t do. Not a fun way to live life, right?
Regret, what is it? Merriam Webster defines it as: (1) sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power to repair or (2) an expression of distressing emotion (such as sorrow).
No one wants to live with regret, but a lot of people do. When thinking of the life unlived, what comes to mind? The friendship that ended, the university you never went to, the course you didn’t study, the town/country you never left, the blog you never started, the relationship you stayed in way longer than necessary, the job you hate or even something as small as the time you did not speak up for yourself. Looking back at all the decisions you made, all the things you did or did not do and how they have impacted your life can be soul crushing. Especially if you feel like your life could have been different, in a good way, if things had not played out the way they did.
For one, I know I have a lot of regret… especially about the things I missed out on. Many of these things are things that were and are still beyond my control, but there are also a handful that I could have done if I was more strong-willed. And I think that’s what keeps the regret alive, the fact that had I been more firm in my own beliefs, my life could have turned out completely different than what it is right now. Don’t get me wrong, my life is not horrible. In fact, its good, considering everything happening in this world. It could however have been better.
Having all of these things on ones mind can cause exhaustion, both physically and emotionally. Trust me, I know… but that’s a story for another day. As someone that lives with constant regret and sorrow for the life unlived, it will literally destroy you.
So here’s my advice: Mourn your life unlived. Cry for everything you didn’t do, everything that should have happened for you, accept all that did not happen for you and move on. Let the pain, embarrassment and sorrow come and take over your being, but once its done, let it go. There is no joy in constantly reminding yourself of how your life isn’t what you once wanted for yourself. There is no joy in constantly wishing things could have been different, because you can’t go back in time. You can only look forward in great anticipation.
Wrap regret up in pretty little box, put a bow on it, dig a grave, bury it and never pay it a visit.
xx Val xx