It’s rare today that I regret things. When things don’t go my way, or something negative happens based on choices, or I decision I made, I now, typically look at that as learning. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting anymore, it still does, but I look back to see where I could have done something differently, or made a better choice. That type of thinking keeps me out of regret and back into action because it’s in action where positive changes, or better choices, are made.
I wasn’t always thinking that way, in fact, for most of my life I was full of regret, and full of anger about past events. I was angry at others, blaming them for the outcomes, or I was blaming myself and beating myself up further, telling myself I was a piece of crap because I messed up again. That vicious cycle kept me in the darkness, and propelled me even further down.
Regret, really, is useless. We can’t change the past, we can’t go back and change what we did, so why do we spend so much time regretting the choices we made when we can’t do anything about them? What we can do is make better choices moving forward. To learn from our past and use that to help us in our present day. There may be things that we can fix, or make better from our past, and with the knowledge of what we had done, we can use that to possibly amend or make repairs on the things that didn’t go well, or we misunderstood, that, is truly the only way we can change the past, by taking positive action today. Again, it goes back to perspective. We can take a seemingly negative situation and make it positive by learning from it, or fixing what we can with the knowledge we now have. When we think of things that way, we don’t really have anything to regret. Now, there are things that we can’t go back and change, or make better, the opportunity may have past and there is no going back, I’ve had many of those, but again, it’s about learning from those experiences, and, forgiving yourself for not having the knowledge, or courage, or experience in that moment to do the right, or best thing. We can’t look back at who we were and expect ourselves to have been who we are today. We have to acknowledge that we are on a path of self-discovery, and that we typically learn the most when things go wrong, or possibly hurt, because we pay more attention to those things, so the reason it may have happened in the first place is a positive reason, to get us to change. There are no coincidences or accidents, I’ve said this before, even accidents aren’t really accidents, they may not have been what we had intended or wanted but there is a reason for everything, and sometimes it’s not your reason, but the other people, or person involved, but, usually there is something we can all take away from each experience, good, or bad, it’s just how we choose to look at those experiences that sets us a part.
I had an experience yesterday that I was really disappointed in. It was something that I may have been able to control somewhat, but it had a lot to do with me not feeling well and I wasn’t as sharp as I usually am. I was upset. And I found myself, for a brief moment, starting to get down on myself, and then I stopped and got into possible solutions. As a result, I was able to come up with one. Now, that is growth and learning. Instead of getting angry at myself and regretting all of my actions leading up to that moment, blaming them for the place I was now finding myself in, I started to look for other options. As a result I stayed out of self-hatred and self-pity and stayed in the self-love.
Regrets don’t move us forward, only back, they keep us shielded from the present and what we can do to make things right, or better for ourselves, they keep us from learning, from growing, they pull us back into the shadows when we need to stay in the light. Let go of past regrets, learn from them, use them to build a better you, and one day you may find that have nothing to regret, what do you think about that?
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you tend to regret things from your past and hang on to them? Why do you think you do that? How does it benefit you? How does it hurt you? What can you learn from those things you regret? What can you do differently for next time? Are there ways you can now improve or better those situations you regret today? If so, what are they? Stay in action SLAYER, always focus on what you can do to make a situation or experience better, and if there is nothing, looking at you part and what lesson you can take away from those times to give you some positive actions to take the next time. SLAY on!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you
4 thoughts on “Rebounding From Regret”
This post struck a chord within me, today, holy shit!! Ya know when you hear somebody say something that just lights you up from the inside? That!
I did something, recently, that I almost never do; I went clothing shopping with my mother. Now, I’m overweight, and I enjoy my body. I feel like I need to add that disclaimer, because all too often, we hear how much people (especially women) hate their bodies. I don’t! I love my curves, my fat rolls, my squishy arms and thighs… all of me. My mom, however, only sees the minefield of HOW THINGS COULD GO WRONG WHILE MELANIE’S IN PUBLIC!!! and acts too careful, too supportive, and too ‘compassionate’ while I’m trying on clothes. I hate shopping for myself with her.
Cut to us discussing how a shirt looks on me/
Mom: Well, I like the…color? What do you think?
Me: The color’s fine. I don’t like how this shows off my fat.
Mom: Oh, Melanie! Don’t say that about yourself!
Me: Mom, it’s ok. I know I’m fat. This shirt doesn’t look good on my body.
Mom: Honey, if you want to change your body, you know what you need to do.
Me: Mom, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, this shirt isn’t cut the way I like. I’m not getting it.
Mom: Do you wanna leave? Are you alright? Should we just go?
Me: Do YOU wanna leave?
Mom: I just don’t want you to feel bad about yourself. Lots of people are heavy. It’s gonna be alright.
Me: I just don’t like the shirt. I’m not gonna walk into traffic over a shirt! Jesus, mom, what the hell?!
Mom: You’re being unreasonable, right now. Let’s just go.
Me: (sigh) Fine.
On the way home, I started replaying what happened, and I began feeling badly about me. I kept thinking, like a broken record, ‘She wouldn’t have to go through this with me, if I were a normal size. She’s embarrassed by me. I’m embarrassed by me. Maybe, if I weren’t so lazy, I’d be thin and beautiful, and she would enjoy being seen in public with me. What the hell is wrong with me? I had cereal this morning when I could’ve just had coffee and a banana. Maybe, mom’s right, and I do like being fat, just because I need to be the victim. Maybe, I’m just a piece of crap, and I don’t deserve anything good. Maybe, maybe, maybe…..’
I started to go down a dark spiral that, by the time I walked in the door, was a full-on panic attack. I called myself everything horrible, and was so down on myself, I couldn’t even look in the mirror as I brushed my teeth, that night. For the first time, in a very long time, I hated me.
It’s kind of amazing how easy it is to slip back into that crap, no matter how long it’s been, or how hard we work to get past it.
Anyway, as I was trying to go to sleep, I thought about you and the other SLAYers. I know it sounds silly, but I thought about somebody saying the things I said about myself, to any one of you guys. I thought about how you’d feel, and how I’d come out swinging in your defense. How I’d never let anyone abuse any of you, without saying or doing something to counteract their nastiness. How I’d beat the shit out of anyone who even tried to bully you in front of me.
So, I thought of all the things I’d say to all of you, to help build you back up, and I said them to me. Out loud, In the dark. In the end, I don’t regret being fat. I do, however, regret shopping with my mother. Though, I know there’s a better lesson, there, than, “Don’t shop with her anymore.” And I’ll find that better lesson, eventually.
In the meantime, I’m not shopping with her, anymore. And you can’t make me!
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Mel, your comment brought tears to my eyes. First off, I love that you love you just as you are, but hated that you spoke negatively to yourself. You’re right, we SLAYERS would never say those things to to you, and we wouldn’t want to hear you saying them to yourself.
Mother/Daughter relationships can be tough. And what should be a simple shopping trip can lead to, well, what it lead to. There is a lot of feelings and emotions that are tied to our family.
Just from the outside looking in, or reading in in this case, it seems like your Mom was overdoing her support, but that perhaps it may have come from a good place.
It is easy to fall back into old patterns, especially with family, I’ve had to set boundaries with mine, but I’ve also had to learn to let things go and be strong in who I am. I choose to live in the now and let go of those things that have bugged me in the past, because truly, today, it is my problem if I don’t let it go or walk away from it. As children we don’t have a choice, as adults we do.
Maybe shopping isn’t the best activity for you and your Mom, it might be better to try something else. But I love that you applied your SLAYER tools and really listened to what you were saying to yourself to turn yourself around.
Be loving and kind to yourself, as you said, you don’t have a problem with how you look, and you shouldn’t, if someone else does, that is their problem, and theirs alone, continue to love who you are, and who you’ve become, you’ve worked for it.
I love you too, and am sending a virtual hug for the you that got a harsh talking to. She deserves a good one, as does the you that realized that.
Thank you for sharing your truth, I related to it a lot, and ultimately it made me smile.
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Any one know how to get a free copyright for articles published in blogs..?
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I would check out my husband’s website ink2ip.com, it’s a great copyright resource.